17 June 2013
When traveling west from Pennsylvania on Interstate 70 toward West Virginia, you see the bold sign on the border: Wild, Wonderful West Virginia. West Virginia is a ‘Race to the Top’ model state with an international agenda for our nation’s schools. Perhaps you will wonder why a state like West Virginia is being used as a guinea pig model for our nation’s children. America is not watching.
West Virginia had been selected through the CCSSO, Council Chief State School Officers, as a Next Generation School called Innovation Lab Network. There were 6 other states selected for Obama’s ‘Race to the Top’ agenda, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Maine, New York, Ohio, and New Hampshire was added. Steven L. Paine, former State Superintendent of Schools, led West Virginia down the international path of 21st Century Learning Outcomes. The state created policies that set up an agenda that correlated those outcomes into strategies and learning objectives that would be coded for individual data retrieval in the Common Core longitudinal data collection. Dr. Paine was President of the CCSSO, member of the Governing Board of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, NAEP, the national test, Vice President Business Operations of CTB/McGraw Hill, a testing company, and now president of Partnership for 21st Century Skills, P21. He is now pushing the integration of 21st Century Skills in federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, ESEA Reauthorization legislation, HR 347. However, workforce skills standards are already being swept in under the door mandated through federal ESEA Flexibility Waivers. HR 347 would make workforce standards law. The CCSSO, OECD, the international Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, and the Stupski Foundation funded the Innovation Lab Network in which West Virginia was a model state in Obama’s ‘Race to the Top’ schools.
Led by Paine, West Virginia is deeply engaged in systemically transforming the public school system with the goal of providing all West Virginia children with the skills for global citizenship. This agenda redesigns what the reformers are calling the old ‘Industrial Age’ style of schooling and ridicules the traditional education system that is based on intellectual knowledge and academic content, the Carnegie Unit (ABCD or failure), going to school for 180 days or seat time and grade separations ( freshman, sophomore, junior, senior). Our traditional system of teaching, identifies, challenges, and rewards intellectual excellence and hard work. The transformational, standards based system, where there is no competition, eliminates all this and is a radical change from schooling as we know it. A standards-based system is focused on the individual meeting specific standards that are being replicated across the country and duplicated from state to state in the Common Core State Standards. This type of education demands an IEP, individual education plan or career pathway that is developed to meet the standards. (See “Obama’s ‘Race to the Top’ Schools” by this author.) The fallacy in a standards based system is that there is no identification of individual differences or IQ. This un-natural system eliminates the concept of individual accomplishments and freedom to choose your future, where the direction is a controlled, standardized authority where the government chooses for you in a caste-like agenda. The Common Core Standards eventually lead to a national curriculum controlled through testing, retesting, and standardization called ‘feedback loop control’ for continual monitoring and the eventual federal take-over of education. A state agreeing to the Common Core Standards is the first step, like getting the camel’s nose under the tent.
West Virginia’s Global21 program is focused on the development of international curriculum standards, an assessment that measures and tests those standards, research-based instructional practices and curriculum taught to meet the standards, a parallel accountability system that aligns teacher performance with school performance based on the standards, development of a 21st century mastery teacher continuum; emphasis on pre-K programs to identify interventions early on, and integration of technology tools and skills in every classroom…all centered around meeting standards that government controls.
There are currently 46 states that have adopted the Common Core Standards for Obama’s ‘Race to the Top’ schools mostly because of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title I, ESEA Flexibility Waivers given to states applying for flexibility in the ‘No Child Left Behind’ legislation under the Bush administration. The waivers require explicitly that an accountability system of assessments along with College and Career Ready standards must be devised. Another incubator state, Kentucky, has also transformed their focus of education toward the international standards. Dr. Terry Holliday, Kentucky Commissioner of Education is quoted on Oct. 29, 2010,…” [that] we will change from school- to the people development business.” In December 2010, Holliday was named to the board of directors for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) for 2010-11. In September 2011, Holliday was appointed to serve a four-year term on the National Assessment Governing Board. These key change agents have mastered the agenda for moving entire states to an international agenda of molding students for global citizenship and accepting Common Core Standards.
West Virginia Department of Education focuses on three goals for all children and blatantly professes the fact that attitudes, values,and dispositions are a focus of their curriculum:
Goal 1: To meet or exceed state, national and international curriculum standards that incorporate acquisition of 21st century skills.
Goal 2: To develop the personal skills and dispositions of wellness, responsibility, cultural awareness, self-direction, ethical character and good citizenship.
Goal 3: To graduate from high school prepared for post-secondary education and career success through personalized pathways and guidance.
What are Common Core Standards and 21st Century Skills? These standards, taken from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills or P21 under Life and Career Skills, are incorporated into West Virginia standards. Notice in the graph above, the personal and workplace productivity skills. Many are in the affective domain, or in the area of attitudes, values, beliefs, and dispositions. No longer is school focused on academics. The agenda to educate the child is now referred to as the ” learning genome” – evaluating personality and teaching the whole child. That means the way a child thinks or what they believe, what they feel or their values and attitudes, and what they can do or their behavior or how they act. It’s not about academics, it’s about control and molding the child to the state desired minimum standard. This is the new school and these are the steps that are being taken.
This Part 1 in a Three part series.