Category Archives: COMMON CORE/CSCOPE/CES CONNECTION

Expeditionary Learning a Common Core Partner in Social Justice Indoctrination


By Danette Clark

Last week, Ben Velderman of EAGnews reported that John J. Duggan Middle School in Springfield, MA will re-open this school year as Duggan Expeditionary Learning Magnet School, a Grade 6 -12 school with an emphasis on social justice.

While Velderman says the school’s new social justice focus is not an absolute indicator that anti-American lessons will be taught, he points out that words like “social justice” and “equity” are often used by “left-wing activist teachers to preach the evils of capitalism and trumpet the virtues of socialism… and communism”.

In this case, Velderman’s speculation and concern about what might be taught at this school are dead on. Here’s why:

Since its beginning, Expeditionary Learning (EL) has been a partner of the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), the leftist indoctrination reform (and people) behind Common Core. To read about indoctrination in CES schools and the connections to Common Core, go to: Pearson Common Core expert: ‘Was George Washington any different from Palestinian terrorists…?’, The Real History of Common Core: Black Helicopters…’, Common Core’s Achieve, Inc. Far From Bi-Partisan, and Carnegie Corporation: From Philanthropy to Frightening Control to Common Core.

In fact, Ron Berger, chief program officer of Expeditionary Learning (EL), was an educator in CES schools; and the first ever EL school in the US to operate as a charter was started by Van Schoales, then a recent director of the Coalition of Essential Schools’ Bay Area location.

Like CES schools, EL schools were founded on the premise that educators should take on the role of character and community building.

According to Berger, both “CES and ELS embrace the notion that it’s all about the culture of the school”. Unfortunately, that culture is most often one of anti-Americanism and anti-Christianity, with a very clear political, social, and moral agenda.

For example, several teachers at the James Baldwin Expeditionary Learning School in New York are members of NYCoRE — the New York Collective of Radical Educators.

NYCoRE educators, who contend they are committed to educating for social change, openly subscribe to an extreme leftist view on virtually every political and social issue.

NYCOREAnnualConference

The NYCoRE working group, NYQueer says they believe “educators of all age groups can and should address issues of gender and sexuality in the classroom”. To that end, NYCoRE partners with only the most liberal of organizations, like pro-sex Planned Parenthood and pro-homosexual sex GLSEN.

According to an interview with EL’s Ron Berger for the Coalition of Essential Schools publication, Horace Magazine, as of 2007, Expeditionary Learning was being implemented in more than 140 schools and included “a strong representation of CES schools”. Today, there are more than 200 EL schools nationwide.

In February of 2013, Expeditionary Learning (EL) was chosen by the State of New York “to create Common Core-aligned English language arts and literacy curriculum for grades 3-5 and to deliver Common Core professional development to representatives from districts across the state”.

According to its website, EL also works with the authors of Common Core to develop model secondary curriculum.

This EL Common Core lesson, which was recently found in Louisiana classrooms, dictates a “close reading” of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (never mind the US Constitution) and teaches students that a person’s rights are violated when the wealthy own more land than they do.

Considering EL’s recent partnership with the authors of Common Core, parents of Duggan Expeditionary Learning aren’t the only ones who now have cause for concern.

Advertisements

Pearson Common Core Expert: ‘Was George Washington Any Different From Palestinian Terrorists…?’


By Danette Clark

This article can also be found at EAGnews.org.

“Was George Washington any different from Palestinian terrorists trying to protect their country?”

“Was Jefferson a hypocrite? Did he really think of a slave as a sub-human while writing the Declaration of Independence?”

These questions were written for use in the classroom by Grant Wiggins, a Pearson Education author, partner, and Common Core professional development trainer.

In partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers, Pearson Education provides lessons, texts, professional development, and other resources to states implementing the Common Core State Standards.

Wiggins is one of several educators and authors who provide instruction via Pearson Common Core webinars.

James Rubenstein, author of, The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography, is also employed by Pearson.

Last year, it was reported that parents in Tennessee’s Williamson County School District were calling for removal of Rubenstein’s book, a resource for Advanced Placement Human Geography courses, because of its anti-semitic content.

As reported:

“…the book… contains the question, “If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?”

In this Pearson Common Core webinar, Grant Wiggins explains “how issues of backward transfer relate to the Common Core”.

‘Backward transfer’ (also referred to as ‘backward design’ or ‘planning backwards’) is part of the Understanding by Design framework for curriculum, assessment, and learning created by Wiggins and co-author, Jay McTighe.

As explained in The Real History of Common Core: Black Helicopters…’, Common Core’s Achieve, Inc. Far From Bi-Partisan, and Carnegie Corporation: From Philanthropy to Frightening Control to Common Core, the Coalition of Essential Schools is the whole-child progressive indoctrination reform behind the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Wiggins and McTighe have worked with the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) for many years as research scholars, studying CES method, pedagogy, and curriculum, and incorporating them into the creation of their own curriculum and instruction design.

A staple of CES reform has long been the use of ‘big ideas’ and ‘essential questions’ to identify desired results of teacher instruction. Stage one of Wiggins and McTighe’s backward design process, which Pearson recently committed to integrating into all new programs, is identifying those essential questions.

The Common Core standards call for students to think critically about the world around them, and essential questions do just that.

For example, at a school founded and led by CES co-founder and Marxist-socialist, Deborah Meier, questions like, “Whose country is this, anyway?”, are considered “higher-level” essential questions.

According to Meier herself in this recent post, Who Owns America, America doesn’t belong to us, nor does Israel belong to the Israelis.

With the recent influx of liberal minded educators (also by design) and biased Common Core aligned texts and lessons from Pearson, Crayola, Discovery, and other CCSSO partner organizations, we see these methods of teaching being used more and more to indoctrinate students through Common Core.

Even absent the biased Common Core resources, teaching strategies like backward design and essential questions are effective in imposing the political and moral bias of the educator onto the student.

As Wiggins and McTighe state here, “the questions ARE the core curriculum, the “content” is not.”.

Compare the Wiggins and McTighe lesson plans below to this lesson discovered in Texas that referred to the Boston Tea Party as an act of terrorism, and this one that said the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened because of bad decisions made by America in the past.

WigginsBostonTeaParty

WigginsHistoryLesson

In this lesson plan, Wiggins and McTighe phrase the 9/11 question this way:  “9/11 – How and why was it predictable or unpredictable, historically speaking?”

In 2011, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with Pearson to create a “complete, foundational system of instruction built around the Common Core Standards”. Judy Codding, former president and CEO of America’s Choice  was appointed to lead the course development effort at Pearson.

Codding was one of four charter principals who participated in the creation of Ted Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools.

Now, as managing director of the Common Core Initiative at Pearson, Codding, along with several other shameless CES educators, including Wiggins, McTighe, and Pearson Foundation Vice President of Programs Susan Sclafani, are being paid to bring their indoctrination techniques and anti-American views to millions of teachers and students via Common Core.

 

Carnegie Corporation: From Philanthropy to Frightening Control to Common Core


VartanGregorian_WizardofOz_resized-300x217

By Danette Clark

In the trailer for the upcoming Common Core documentary, Building the Machine, Political Scientist Dr. Andrew Hacker refers to the little man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz when suggesting that, with regard to Common Core, we don’t know who’s pulling all the strings.

Well, we know there are lots of little men (of little character) with big corporate interests behind Common Core. We also know Bill Gates and the Obama administration have thrown their full weight into the initiative.

Of course, Common Core is the concerted effort of many — after all, 45 states signed on before the standards were even written — but it does appear that Carnegie is the one great and powerful force working all the controls from behind the curtain.

From the creation of high school academic credits and the College-Level Entrance Examination Program, to federal Pell grants and the establishment of the largest testing organization in the world (ETS), Carnegie Corporation and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (hereafter “Carnegie” or “the foundations”) have made important and historic contributions to America’s education system.

With each contribution, however, has come increasing influence and power. Likewise, with each passing decade and sitting Carnegie president, the foundations’ objectives for use of that power have changed dramatically.

For example, according to Carnegie.org, former Carnegie Corporation president, John W. Gardner, led the foundation into an “era of strategic philanthropy — the planned, organized, deliberately constructed means to attain stated ends.” From Gardner, “…the Foundation inherited a commitment to… moral leadership as a key feature of a democratic society, and thus of its educational systems”.

As a psychologist, Gardner believed in the merging of education and behavioral science to address world problems and create social change.

Gardner also opened the door to federal intrusion and control by inviting the federal government in to collaborate with Carnegie on the implementation of new education initiatives.

David Hamburg, Carnegie president from 1982 to 1997, further expounded on the foundations’ work of diffusing social science and education research “to improve social policy and practice”. To that end, Hamburg forged partnerships with leading institutions that, according to Carnegie.org, “had the capability to influence public thought and action”.

During this time, other partnerships were formed as well, with anti-capitalists and communists, also bent on using education to engineer a new social order.

Although Carnegie now claims to support and promote best practices in education, it has long supported one reform over all others –the Annenberg Institute’s Coalition of Essential Schools — the same progressive, indoctrinating, whole-child reform supported by President Obama for more than twenty years.

In fact, the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) movement has become such an integral part of the work of Carnegie Corporation and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, that it could easily be argued that the three are now synonymous.

This is important for those opposed to Common Core to realize and learn from, because while we were sleeping, the most influential ‘philanthropic’ organization in the country gave birth to an exceedingly politically radical education initiative, drove its expansion for three decades, and now carries it forward into the creation of Common Core.

Carnegie Brings Anti-Capitalists and Would-Be Common Core Creators Together

In 1981, Carnegie donated seed money to CES founder, Ted Sizer, for the research project that led him to start the Coalition of Essential Schools.

As explained here, the late Ted Sizer was a humanist who preached that schools must shape children morally and politically in order to create a more just world.

Co-founder of CES schools, Deborah Meier, is a Marxist-socialist and a long time friend and associate of Bill Ayers, Mike Klonsky, and other anti-American educators.

Just a year after CES was officially established at Brown University, Carnegie created the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy (now known as the National Center on Education and the Economy).

The Forum, led by Marc Tucker, commissioned a Task Force on Teaching as a Profession to address the need to “fundamentally change the nature of the education system to take advantage of a professionalized teaching force and to base that new system on higher standards for both students and teachers”.

The Task Force was led by James B. Hunt and its members included former Carnegie President John W. Gardner, American Federation of Teachers President Albert Shanker, Vice-President of IBM Lewis Branscomb, and Coalition of Essential Schools Co-Founder Deborah Meier.

Remember, James Hunt and IBM President, Louis Gerstner would later come together to form Achieve, Inc., the organization charged with writing the Common Core State Standards. Hunt’s organization, the Hunt Institute, is part of the joint effort of NGA, CCSSO, and Achieve in creating Common Core.

Under Tucker’s direction, the Carnegie Task Force wrote and published a report titled, A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century, which called for and led to the creation of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, of which Tucker, Meier, and Hunt served as founding board members.

In 1987, with the help of Carnegie Corporation, Marc Tucker went on to establish the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) as an independent institution that would continue the work of the Carnegie Forum.

Damning enough on its own (but we’ll explore further nonetheless) is the fact that NCEE’s Vice President Judy Codding was one of four charter principals who participated in the creation of Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools. According to CES, Codding led two early Essential School efforts in New York and later greatly contributed to the expansion of “Coalition ideas” in California.

According to NCEE’s website, …”in 1991, NCEE invited the University of Pittsburgh, 23 states, 6 cities and three national foundations to join with it in creating New Standards, a collaborative committed to… student performance standards and matching assessments to launch the standards movement in the United States”.

This initiative, which later came to be known as the New Standards Project, was cited at the 1996 National Education Summit (that gave birth to Achieve) to outline the “qualities of a world-class education standards system”.

From its start, the NCEE New Standards Project has been led by CES reformers,  including Annenberg’s current and long-time Executive Director, Warren Simmons.

As admitted by NCEE, “many of the leaders in the New Standards work went on to play leading roles in the development of the Common Core State Standards, which built in part on the foundation laid by (The) New Standards (Project)”.

In other words, Common Core was, in fact, built on the foundation laid by Carnegie and the Coalition of Essential Schools.

ANNENBERG AND GATES FOUNDATION MONEY SPENT THE WAY CARNEGIE SEES FIT

With the Carnegie-created NCEE working in nearly two dozen states to lay the foundation for a new national standard, Carnegie began focusing its efforts on infiltrating additional districts and states.

Just before becoming president of Carnegie Corporation in 1997, Vartan Gregorian served as director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform where he led in the selection and distribution of Annenberg Challenge grants used to implement CES reform in various school districts across the country, including Chicago where an Annenberg Challenge site was led by communist Bill Ayers and Barack Obama.

While the Annenberg Institute admits that each group chosen to receive grants had to meet “unique conditions” and that “independent, non-profit entities” were “specially created” to run each Annenberg Challenge site, it was not made known that several of those ‘independent entities’ were specially created by Carnegie. Yet another blow to the “Common Core is state-led” claim; even the early roots of Common Core weren’t state-led.

In Chicago, for example, it was reported that three of the largest independent education foundations came together in support of and lobbied for the approval of the Annenberg grant proposal submitted by the Bill Ayers consortium. However, it was not reported that the presidents of two of those so-called ‘independent education foundations’, namely Adele Simmons of the Mac Arthur Foundation, and Patricia Graham of the Spencer Foundation, were from Carnegie.

Patricia Graham, whom Obama himself (in an attempt to diminish the influence of Bill Ayers) later credited with choosing him to chair the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, was an advisor to Carnegie Corporation and had recently served as chair of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

In Pennsylvania, it was the Philadelphia Education Fund (PEF) that was ‘chosen’ to receive an Annenberg grant. PEF’s executive director was Warren Simmons, now director of the Annenberg Institute. Just prior to that, Simmons co-directed the Carnegie/NCEE New Standards Project.

Carnegie’s control also appears to extend to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has reportedly invested more than $2 billion in Common Core.

The same year Gregorian become president of Carnegie Corporation, he met with and convinced Bill Gates to form the Gates Learning Foundation (now the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), to which Gregorian was appointed as one of only six directors.

With the title of advisor to the Annenberg Foundation under his belt, and now, holding great power over both the Gates and Carnegie foundations, Gregorian began meeting with leaders of other top organizations across the country to discuss ways to combine their grant making efforts.

From inception through today, the education arm of the Gates Foundation has been led by Annenberg/CES reformers, likely all placed there under the direction of Gregorian.

Current director of the Gates Foundation’s College Ready in the United States Program, Vicki Phillips, was Executive Director of the Annenberg Challenge at Greater Philadelphia First.

Up Next – Biased Science Standards and Mandated Curriculum

Achieve, Inc. and Carnegie led in the creation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that were released last year.

These standards came to be in the same way as Common Core’s English and Math standards — the almighty Carnegie said it shall be done, gathered its favorite progressives together to complete the task, provided the funding, and had its partner, the US Department of Education, throw its weight behind it.

Not surprising, NGSS teaches the Big Bang Theory and evolution as fact, with no reference to creationism. Man-made global warming is also a fact in these standards and students are required to explore solutions to the warming crisis.

While this document doesn’t specifically state whether Carnegie “launched” or simply “advanced” CCSSO and NGA, both organizations, by way of Carnegie funding alone, are certainly subject to Carnegie control.

CCSSO, which also receives federal funding, has been in Carnegie’s pocket for decades. In 1987, while Carnegie’s Task Force on Teaching (CES co-founder Deborah Meier, James Hunt, etc.) were busy establishing the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, another leader in CES reform, Common Core’s Linda Darling-Hammond, was gearing up to lead the drafting committee of CCSSO’s newly formed Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC).

INTASC, founded with Carnegie dollars, of course, was created to develop standards “compatible with the advanced certification standards of the new National Board for Professional Teaching Standards”.

The most recent version of INTASC’s Model Core Teaching Standards were specifically revised to align with the Common Core State Standards.

With student and teacher standards complete, Carnegie’s focus as of late has been on professional development and the creation of Common Core lessons, texts, and assessments.

So what’s next? Will Carnegie and its bestie, the US Department of Education, secure their hard work and vested billions by mandating specific Common Core content?

Even before Common Core was implemented in most states, there was a Call for Common Content issued by the Albert Shanker Institute, proclaiming that “core curriculum must build a bridge from standards to achievement”.

The Albert Shanker Institute is led, in part, by Linda Darling Hammond and Anthony Bryk, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Signatories include several CES educators and power players in the creation of Common Core, such as Achieve, Inc. Founding Chairman Louis Gerstner, former Achieve, Inc. President Robert Schwartz, and Carnegie’s Marc Tucker.

In other words, the great and powerful Carnegie is already calling for common content. It’s just a matter of time.

Common Core’s Achieve, Inc. Far From Bi-Partisan


By Danette Clark

Despite absurdly biased lessons and texts created by Common Core partner organizations surfacing daily, proponents of the initiative still shamelessly hold tight to their assertion that CCSS is a state-led initiative that leverages no political or social agenda.

Apparently, we’re all expected to blindly buy into the notion that more than two dozen states came together in kumbaya-fashion, for the sake of the children, of course, to create ‘higher standards’ — with no political divisions or public discourse over the usual contested issues of quality, content, testing, regulation, or accountability.

First of all, our biggest clue that the children are not a priority for Common Core creators should be the fact that, even after spending billions of dollars, the standards our kids are stuck with are bush-league, at best.

Secondly, this initiative cannot honestly be described as ‘state-led’ when the only people allowed to participate in its formation, albeit from various states, were those on board with (or oblivious to) its underlying agenda.

Before the Obama administration stepped in, with our tax dollars, to persuade states to adopt Common Core, the main pushers of this initiative were big philanthropy and big corporations. Being the skilled advertisers they are, these business experts placed three seemingly generic organizations, Achieve, Inc., the National Governors Association (NGA), and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), at the forefront to be the ‘non-partisan’ and ‘bi-partisan’ faces of the Common Core brand.

NGA and CCSSO, however, are only non-partisan in the manner in which one becomes a member. Like the federal government, the work of these organizations can slant politically in either direction, depending on who holds positions of power within. CCSSO has long leaned very far left, with progressive education reform supporters like Gene Wilhoit and, now, Terry Holliday at the helm.

According to its website, the non-profit Achieve, Inc. partners with NGA and CCSSO on the creation of Common Core, with “a number of Achieve staff and consultants serving on the writing and review teams”. The organization is also the “project management partner” of the Common Core testing consortium, PARCC.

But who is Achieve, Inc., really?

Achieve was created through the 1996 National Education Summit, to “facilitate the work” of states in creating national standards.

With IBM CEO Louis Gerstner and Republican Governor, Tommy Thompson, appointed as founding chair and co-chair, and Proctor and Gamble’s John Pepper and Democratic Governor James B. Hunt filling the vice-chair seats, Achieve appeared to get off to quite the bi-partisan start.

However, from its first president to its current, and many board members in between, Achieve, Inc. has always been led by devout benefactors of the progressive-humanist reform initiative of the Annenberg Institute’s Coalition of Essential Schools.

As explained here, Louis Gerstner, Chairman Emeritus of Achieve, was a member of the Annenberg Institute’s Board of Overseers when he called for and led the 1996 education summit and appointed himself as head of the organization that would later write our national standards.

At the time, Gerstner was a close friend and business associate of then President  Clinton’s trusted advisor, Vernon Jordan.

Clinton and his education secretary, Richard Riley, also attended the summit,  with Clinton speaking to attendees on the importance of national standards and assessments to ensure that students are prepared to compete in a global economy.

Appointed as Achieve’s first president was Robert Schwartz, education program director of Pew Charitable Trust, who, just a year earlier, oversaw the distribution $9.8 million to the Annenberg Challenge site in Philadelphia.

Shwartz now serves as an advisory committee member to the Annenberg Institute.

Achieve’s current president, Michael Cohen, who replaced Schwartz in 2003,  previously held several senior education positions in the Clinton Administration.

Under the leadership of Cohen and Gerstner, Achieve remains closely aligned with the Obama-supported Annenberg Institute/Coalition of Essential Schools  movement.

Control of Achieve is still shared by state governors and heads of powerful corporations, but it seems only like-minded progressive corporate leaders are chosen to participate in building the educational future of our children.

For example, current Achieve board member, Mark Grier, is Vice Chairman of Prudential Financial.

Prudential, through it’s grant-making arm, Prudential Foundation, invests millions in global citizenship and social justice education initiatives, with both it’s current and recent past president serving as advisors to radical education organizations along side the likes of Bill Ayers’ mentor, Maxine Greene, and progressive ed giants, Linda Darling Hammond, Deborah Meier, James Comer, and the Annenberg Institute’s Warren Simmons.

Achieve, Inc. board member, Craig Barrett, is the former CEO of Intel Corporation, another supporter of progressive (moral) education over traditional education.

Barrett served as chairman of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID), a United Nations program that promotes the use of information technology to advance the Millennium Development Goals — goals that include a global economy, global policy to ensure environmental sustainability, and universal primary education.

Apparently, the ‘bi-partisan’ labeling of Achieve, Inc. is just one more lie of the Common Core initiative.

And we’re supposed to trust this is what’s best for our children?

 

 

The Real History of Common Core: ‘Black Helicopters’ All Over the Place


Acorn Woodland Elementary, Oakland, CA. Established in 2000 by ACORN and the Coalition of Essential Schools

Acorn Woodland Elementary, Oakland, CA. Established in 2000 by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the Coalition of Essential Schools.

By Danette Clark

This article can also be found at EAGnews.org.

Despite the left’s efforts to convince us that Obama’s relationship with William Ayers was irrelevant to how he might lead as president, the facts that prove otherwise are plenty and can no longer be ignored.

Not only was the history between Ayers and Obama very relevant and media-worthy during the 2008 presidential election, it will have a devastating and lasting impact on our country.

To understand the agenda (and lies) at the core of our new national standards,  you have to go back to why many on the right were concerned about Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers to begin with — their work on education reform.

Although it is true that the Common Core State Standards are voluntary and not mandated by the federal government (yet), they are federally manipulated. Further, the people and pedagogy behind the standards, and the garbage content that comes with them, are the same as that of the radical reform long supported by both Obama and Ayers.

The History

The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), a progressive education reform model rooted in the social justice pedagogy of John Dewey and Paulo Freire, was expanded by President Obama and communist Bill Ayers through their work with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge in the 1990’s, and later, through the Chicago Public Education Fund.

CES Schools was founded in 1984 by Theodore Sizer who was, at the time, head of Brown University’s education department.

Like John Dewey, the late Ted Sizer (also a humanist) believed that education should bring forth democracy. First, however, education must address the “institutionalized oppressive practices and attitudes” of the American society.

Of course, in order to address these so-called institutional injustices in the classroom, one must be willing to cross the [unconstitutional] line from  educating children intellectually to educating them morally. Not only was Sizer willing to cross that line, but he created CES schools for that specific purpose.

Sizer wrote that ‘moral’ or ‘character’ education “is an intellectual undertaking that must infuse the entire school”. In 1970, Sizer and his wife, Nancy, also wrote a collection of lectures titled Moral Education wherein they referred to the “simpleminded sermonizing tradition” of the 19th Century as “the old morality”. The Sizers argued for “a new morality”, one that gives primacy to students’ “moral autonomy and independence”.

To that end, CES schools were created to serve a ‘broader role‘ in children’s lives — to teach them “how to act in the social and ethical arenas of society”.

Sizer’s partner in the start of CES schools was Deborah Meier, now well-known among progressive circles as a prominent education reformer. Meier still works closely with Bill Ayers for social reform through education, and is a founding leader of Democratic Socialists of America, a Marxist organization that strives to end capitalism and bring about “a humane international social order”.

In 1993, Brown University President Vartan Gregorian (whom President Obama appointed as a White House Fellow in 2009) collaborated with Ted Sizer on the launching of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. The institute was created to build on the work of Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools and to expand that work to schools nationwide.

Sizer and Gregorian immediately began a grant selection process through which  several grants, as part of Walter Annenberg’s 500 million dollar challenge to the nation, would be awarded to launch Annenberg Challenge sites across the country. The first nine sites chosen were Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay area, South Florida, Houston, and Chicago.

Gregorian was instrumental in selecting the group led by Bill Ayers and chaired by Obama to receive a grant for the start of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge in 1995.

Ayers’ organization, Small Schools Workshop, also received Annenberg dollars to aid in opening new CES schools and to transform existing schools into CES member schools (also referred to as ‘small schools’, ‘smaller learning communities’, ‘small autonomous schools’ and ‘schools within a school’). The organization provided (and still provides) curriculum resources, hands-on professional development, and grant development.

Ayers co-founded the Small Schools Workshop with fellow bomb-making domestic terrorist and Marxist-Communist, Mike Klonsky, who now serves as the organization’s national director.

In Chicago, Obama and Ayers funneled money to the now disgraced and de-funded ACORN to identify and train community members to become teachers in CES schools. In other states, CES recruited ACORN workers to elbow their way onto local school councils and scream for reform.

With heavy funding from Bill Gates, Carnegie Corporation, George Soros’ Open Society Institute, and CSR, Title 1, and smaller learning community grants from the U.S. Department of Education, CES has grown into a nationwide network of thousands of schools. Each school is provided with curriculum material, professional development training, and staff support through CES regional training centers, affiliates, and partner universities. CES currently uses the Annenberg Institute “as a forum for sharing resources and amassing political weight”.

The Connections

For those who don’t necessarily believe that one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch, how about dozens of bad apples?

As explained here, Common Core ‘architect’ David Coleman and his partner Jason Zimba have history with the Obama and Ayers led Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

Linda Darling-Hammond, creator of Common Core assessments and a member of the Common Core validation committee, is already publically known as an education reform ally of Bill Ayers. However, what has gone largely unnoticed about this former Obama advisor, is that she, like Ayers, has devoted her entire career to the expansion and success of CES reform.

Darling-Hammond is a long time advisory board member to the National Equity Project, formerly known as the Bay Area Coalition of Essential Schools (or BayCES). The National Equity Project provides ‘equity coaching’ to educators in dozens of school districts — the very same equity coaching that leaves us with teachers who believe the mention of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is racist.

Unfortunately, Coleman, Zimba, and Darling-Hammond aren’t the only Common Core developers whose roots are with the progressive/humanist agenda of the Coalition of Essential Schools and the Annenberg Institute.

In fact, Achieve, Inc., one of the organizations leading the charge in the creation of Common Core, is currently made up of several CES/Annenberg foot soldiers.

For example, Achieve, Inc. board member, Jeffrey Wadsworth, president and CEO of Battelle Memorial Institute, partnered with the Coalition of Essential Schools, Ohio State University, and KnowledgeWorks Foundation in 2006 to create a new CES school in Columbus, Ohio.

The manner in which Achieve, Inc. was founded is also very telling.

In 1995, the same year the Annenberg Institute launched the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and eight other challenge sites, it also named its first ever board of overseers. Board members included Vartan Gregorian, CES founder Ted Sizer, and Louis V. Gerstner, chairman and chief executive officer of IBM Corporation.

Louis Gerstner served as vice chair of George H. Bush’s New American Schools Development Corporation, which was already funding Atlas Communities, a project of the Coalition of Essential Schools.

Just five months after being named to Annenberg’s Board of Overseers, Gerstner and then NGA Chairman Tommy Thompson, called for and led the 1996 National Education Summit to address the “need for Governors and business leaders to act on K-12 education standards”.

Several papers were commissioned in preparation for the summit, which was held at IBM’s Executive Conference Center in Palisades, New York. Among those in attendance were 40 Governors and 49 corporate executives.

Although ironically, very few educators were invited to attend, it was said that several education leaders, “from different political viewpoints and professional experiences”, had been interviewed and were in agreement that “high academic standards — defined as a common core of learning for all public school students, with measures of performance based on that common core are essential to school reform”.

“Explicit expectations” outlined by the summit called for standards that “clearly define what students should know and be able to do”, and accurate systems to track student progress. It was also made clear that, although standards and assessments were necessary tools, there had to be “a clear articulation… of the skills necessary to meet the workforce needs of the next century” as well as a “specific agreement on the academic content students should be learning”.

It was right then and there that Achieve, Inc. was founded, with Annenberg’s Louis Gerstner appointed as its first chairman. Appointed as vice-chair was, then Governor of North Carolina, James B. Hunt, who was already working closely with Linda Darling-Hammond and CES founders, Sizer and Meier.

Today, Hunt’s organization, the James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, is a partner in the creation of the Common Core State Standards.

Since its founding in 1996, Achieve, Inc. has taken a lead role in the creation of  Common Core and has created a system for national and international benchmarking of standards and assessments — all the while remaining deeply involved in and dedicated to a reform initiative that indoctrinates students into “a new morality” for a new society.

While it is true that Bill Ayers didn’t specifically write the Common Core State Standards and has even spoken out against the initiative in recent months, it doesn’t change the fact that both his and Sizer’s fingerprints are all over the standards and their accompanying resources.

Specifically, many of the inappropriate and anti-American Common Core texts that parents are ticked off about today were written by friends of Ayers, Obama, and Sizer.

Toni Morrison, for example, author of the Common Core recommended incest-laden book, The Bluest Eye, was recently honored by President Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Morrison’s book has been recommended by Ayers and CES schools for at least two decades. At the CES Brooklyn School for Global Studies, a parent book club even participates in the reading of this pornographic book with 15-year-old students.

Common Core creators and proponents claim the new national standards are better because they are ‘fewer’ and ‘deeper’, meaning students cover fewer topics in greater depth. This is one of the Ten Common Principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools. Referred to as “Less is More” and “Depth Over Coverage”, this second CES principle calls for student mastery and achievement of a limited number of essential skills as opposed to covering a wide range of content.

CES reform, like Common Core, also favors ‘critical thinking’ over rote memorization of facts, and with that, both unscrupulously call for the ‘close reading’ of texts that relate to ‘real world problems’ like equity and fairness, racism, rape, incest, homosexuality, and American greed.

By their very nature, the Common Core standards force interdisciplinary learning (a.k.a. cross-curricular learning), another staple of CES reform. Without it, there would be no socialist indoctrination in Math class or lessons on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in English class.

It appears that just as the corporate world hi-jacked the 1996 education summit, it has also hi-jacked Sizer’s reform model to create a national standard that even Sizer wouldn’t approve of.

Community organizing, pro-union education reformers like Ayers, Meier, and Sizer have always opposed corporate involvement in the business of education, as well as a one-size-fits-all national standard and achievement testing. On more than one occasion, Sizer went head to head with Louis Gerstner over these very issues.

US Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, on the other hand, while happy to continue the CES/Annenberg legacy of social and moral indoctrination, has had no problem taking corporate dollars or closing failing schools, thereby kicking tenured educators to the curb.

Ayers and Klonsky summed it up in 2006 when they wrote that Arne Duncan (by way of his Renaissance 2010 school project in Chicago), “has used the terms of the small schools movement to promote privatization and the erosion of public space”.

Today, Obama and Duncan specifically promote, by name, Sizer’s CES schools and Ayers’ Small Schools Workshop while billions in corporate dollars and federal tax dollars are being spent to carry the ‘terms’ of their movement into the creation of Common Core.

Considering the numerous Common Core developers, writers, assessment creators, validation committee members, and funders deeply tied to CES reform, it seems clear that Common Core is the culmination of a 30-year-old progressive reform initiative still driven by the ‘irrelevant’ Bill Ayers.

Perhaps now, Arne Duncan should be asked to clarify his snide ‘black helicopter’ statement.

‘Radical Math’: Social Justice Indoctrination in Math Class Courtesy of Common Core Assessment Creators and Obama-Backed Ed Reform


radicalmath

By Danette Clark

Re-post with new information. Original posted January 12, 2013.

To ensure that not a single minute of precious indoctrination time is wasted in the school day, liberal educators have incorporated brainwashing into every course subject, including math.

Next month, the organization, Creating Balance in an Unjust World, will hold its annual conference on “math education and social justice”.

The conference is sponsored by Radical Math, an organization founded by Jonathan Osler, a math and community organizing teacher at a Coalition of Essential Schools high school in Brooklyn, NY.

The Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) is the progressive education reform movement expanded by President Obama and domestic terrorist William Ayers through their work with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge in the 90’s.

As I explained here, Common Core ‘architect’ David Coleman’s Grow Network also worked with Chicago Public Schools, Obama, and Ayers during that time.

Common Core assessment creator, Linda Darling-Hammond, who served as education advisor to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, is a long-time advisory board member to the Bay Area Coalition of Essential Schools (BayCES/National Equity Project).

Radical Math and the Creating Balance Conference both provide training and resources for teachers to learn how to teach mathematics for social justice.  For example, participating trainers coach elementary school teachers to not use traditional math lessons when teaching children to calculate the cost of food. Rather, they recommend making it clear to students that in a truly just society, food would be as free as the air we breathe.

Radical Math’s website provides over 700 lesson plans and other resources covering a wide range of political and social issues (with extreme bias), including globalization, the redistribution of wealth, and various ways the poor are discriminated against and oppressed by whites, banks, corporations, the rich, and the government. One such resource, Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers, contains chapters titled, “Sweatshop Accounting”, “Racism and Stop and Frisk”, “When Equal Isn’t Fair”, “The Square Root of a Fair Share”, and “Home Buying While Brown or Black”.

Rethinking Mathematics is a creation of Rethinking Schools, an organization that refers to William Ayers as “a long-time supporter”. In 2011, Ayers was keynote speaker at  Rethinking Schools’ 25th Anniversary Benefit.

Co-founder and co-organizer of the Creating Balance in an Unjust World/Radical Math Conference, Kari Kokka, works with Linda Darling-Hammond at the Standard Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), the very organization currently creating Smarter Balanced and PAARC assessments for the Common Core State Standards.

Common Core ‘Architect’ David Coleman’s History With the Ayers and Obama Led Chicago Annenberg Challenge


By Danette Clark

Re-post. Original posted June 17, 2013. Also found at EAGnews.org.

Referred to as ‘Common Core lead standards authors’ by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), David Coleman and Jason Zimba are just two in a long list of Common Core creators whose academic roots are with the education-for-a-revolution machine borne by Annenberg Institute, Carnegie Corporation, Bill Gates, et al.

Today, Coleman and Zimba are head of Student Achievement Partners, an organization that played a leading role in developing the standards and actively supports districts and states in implementing them.

Prior to Student Achiement Partners, Coleman and Zimba were co-founders of the Grow Network (now owned by McGraw-Hill Company). Grow Network began as a pilot program in New York in 2000. Less than a year later, the Chicago Public Education Fund began negotiating a contract with Grow Network on behalf of Chicago Public Schools.

The Chicago Public Education Fund (‘The Fund’) was created in 1998 by the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) board of directors, which included Barack Obama as board chairman and communist Bill Ayers, as co-chair.

President Obama’s recently appointed Commerce Secretary, Penny Pritzker, was one of twelve founding board members appointed to The Fund.

Obama himself worked with The Fund for the next several years as a leadership council member, along side Bill Ayers’ father, Thomas Ayers, and brother, John Ayers.

From Catalyst Chicago, March 2000:

“The Chicago Annenberg Challenge will close up shop in June 2001, but its efforts to improve public education will live on through a new community foundation…the Chicago Public Education Fund…”

The Fund existed and still exists to carry on the work of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge — that work being the expansion of Theodore Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools, the reform movement that now (even absent Common Core) indoctrinates students in several states and districts nationwide with a Marxist-Communist political, moral and social ideology.

In 2001, shortly after Arne Duncan began his stint as CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), David Coleman’s newly formed Grow Network solidified its $2.2 million contract with CPS to provide the district with data driven student performance reports for the 2002-2003 school year.

In CPS’s 2002 Education Plan, which introduced Grow Network as a new initiative, President Obama is listed as a member of the district’s planning and development advisory committee. The report also names John Ayers and Communist-Maoist Mike Klonsky of Bill Ayers’ Small Schools Workshop as participants in CPS’s education plan discussion groups.

In 2004, Coleman and Zimba sold Grow Network to McGraw Hill, which continues its lucrative partnership with CPS today. In fact, two former Grow Network members now work for the Chicago Public Education Fund — one of them as its managing director.

The fact that Grow Network has history with the Ayers/Obama/Annenberg led Chicago school system, and was recruited by the Ayers/Obama/Annenberg created Chicago Public Education Fund, doesn’t necessarily implicate David Coleman and Jason Zimba as supporters of Chicago’s radically progressive style of education. However, given Coleman’s progressive upbringing and the fact that CPS paid more than $2 million to bring his untested and unproven program to the district, it does seem likely that Coleman and Zimba had prior connections to the Chicago ed machine.

Fast forward to today and we see each of these players still working to expand the Annenberg/Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) reform model, a model whose teaching strategies, lesson plans, and curriculum resources are identical to those now being used with Common Core.

Communist, domestic terrorist, and creator of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Bill Ayers, continues to speak on behalf of the Annenberg/CES reform effort and provides professional development to teachers and principals from CES schools and districts.

From the White House, Obama and Duncan promote, by name, Bill Ayers’ Small Schools Workshop and the Coalition of Essential Schools while funneling billions to states that have adopted Common Core.

Carnegie Corporation, which has continued to support Annenberg/CES reform over the years, now also provides heavy funding to the Council of Chief State School Officers for the creation and implementation of Common Core.