Saturday, March 16, 2013

Common Core: If You Give A Kid An iPAD...

Obama is all about everything being equal and fair.  Including outcomes.
Which is why he wanted to make sure that if he set the goal to have a 90% graduation rate by 2020, it would only be fair that all students had the same final exam.  In order to have the same final exam and reach the 90% graduation rate goal, you have to have the same (dumbed-down) curriculum. 
If you're going to have a common curriculum and a common exam, of course you need a way to be able to TAKE the test.  This will require schools to be equipped with the latest technology. 
In order to have the latest technology, you have to have broadband access.  And if you're going to create the broadband infrastructure to schools, you will naturally provide lines to EVERYONE in the community.  
And if you're going to make the most use of the latest technology and broadband service, you will naturally convert to digitalized textbooks which can now be accessed both at school and at home....on the school's new laptop or tablet.
Here's how Obama pulled it off:
Back in 2008,  a coalition called got together to push for Internet access for, well, everyone.  One of the members of the coalition would be Obama's future Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones.  They claimed that a "digital divide" among Internet users might leave lower-income and minorities behind.  After all, it was Jones who claimed that "In the California wildfires, those who had access to information at the drop of a hat could figure out if they were in danger and get out.  It's a matter of life and death." (As if looking out your window and seeing a giant wall of fire or smelling something burning wasn't a big enough clue). 
 That Van Jones.  He's a real joker.  Pretending he had never heard of Twitter before.
In 2009, ninety-one percent of Americans had access to broadband services, although only 57% of Americans actually used it.  This, of course, required Obama to completely overhaul the system.  Obama announced his plan for the FCC to create an essential broadband platform because the Internet was no longer just a luxury for the few (91%). To accomplish this goal, Obama dedicated over $7B in stimulus funding to bring broadband lines to rural areas.  Also, through public-private partnerships, companies such as Comcast, under the FCC conditions of their merger with NBC in 2011, began providing technology and Internet access to schools.  They also made cheap monthly rates available to low-income communities which would be subsidized by the wealthier subscribers who pay upwards of $60 per month for the same service.
Naturally, Obama saw public backlash when people began complaining that his plan would lead to net neutrality and complete control of the Internet.
So, he simply changed his marketing strategy.  The Prop-in-Chief began using kids to push for Internet access in schools because, who can say "No" if it's for the children.

Here is Education Secretary, Arne Duncan's Chief of Staff, Joanne Weiss.  She stated that one of the effective tried-and-true levers at the federal level is the "Bully Pulpit."   She said, "There is a tremendous amount of power when the Secretary (of Education) takes to the microphone and talks about the national education technology plan that we've put together, a vision for what teaching learning assessment need to look like in the 21st century."
She also talked about "equity" of assets and mentioned that they worked with the FCC and the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture to "Not just focus on access but now on adoption.  So, how do we make sure that even though that broadband wire is passing by a school, that actually at the school, and in the community, people have the ability to tap into it?"
Ah.  So, if you can get SCHOOLS to have Internet access, you can then justify why it is necessary in every HOME too.  Ms. Weiss continued,
 "We look at access and equity traditionally as if 'I'm going to buy a computer for one kid, I need to buy a computer for EVERY kid' and the price tag is so dramatically high that we don't do it.  Instead of saying, 'a whole bunch of kids are coming into school already with the computer in their backpack, how about if we let them take it OUT of their backpack and use it.'  Then we don't need to buy as many computers and suddenly everybody's got it and we can all be on doing the work we need to do."
Equity.   Or rather, the Haves and Have nots.
Like the movie, Field of Dreams,
"If you build it....they will come."
Arne Duncan October 2012:   "We need to move from textbooks to digital....I think particularly in disadvantaged communities, I think technology can be a great equalizer.  A huge part of the equity agenda."
And if you're going to switch to digital learning, then naturally, every student will need to have their own laptop or tablet (at least those who can't afford it will get one).  The same technology that will be obsolete in two years.

"Schools in Los Angeles last month allocated $50 million to start buying tablets for every student; the project is expected to cost $500 million by the time it is completed. Schools in McAllen, Texas, distributed 6,800 Apple tablets last year at a cost of $20.5 million.


But it's not just the biggest school districts making the shift. The Eanes Independent School District in Austin is distributing more than 2,000 iPads to every student, from kindergarteners to high school seniors.
The cost: $1.2 million."

Here's some real life math that you won't see in the Common Core curriculum: 

QUESTION:  A school buys 2000 iPads at a cost of $1.2M.  How much money did the school overpay for the iPads?  Explain your answer.  

ANSWER:  The school spent $600 for each iPad.  Best Buy has iPads for $399 each. This means that the school spent $400,000 more of the people's tax dollars than necessary.  In fraction form, this equals 1/3. In real life, this equals eight teacher's salaries.

Instead, the new Common Core Math exam will include questions like these:

If you're going to switch to digital textbooks, one can only imagine the historical information and context that will be left out during the transition.  Parents can't complain about the rewriting of history if the controversial subject is no longer even mentioned.  We already know that the CCSS will only address half of the content that was previously taught.  Problem solved.

Obama's FCC Chairman Genachowski is praising the new digital curriculum plan. 

Microsoft, Intel, Verizon and Google are praising the new digital curriculum plan, too.  In fact, they made a Digital Promise to ensure that all (low income/disadvantaged) students will have access to this technology, including NYC schools.  Who knows, maybe NYC schools had a 90% illiteracy rate before they started handing out iPads.  
Eventually, States will discover:
1.  You take RTTT funding, you must adopt CCSS.
2.  You adopt CCSS, you must adopt a common assessment
3.  You adopt a common assessment, you must provide broadband access in order to take the assessment exams.  This access is also necessary for the federal government to more easily collect data from the assessments.
4.  If you have broadband access, you must convert to digital textbooks.
5.  If you have digital textbooks, every child must be able to access the content both at school and at home using a mobile device.
All of this, of course, at the State's  taxpayer's expense.
Is it any wonder why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded the writing and implementation of the Common Core Standards?
Remember when Ms. Morley gave this head-spinning answer about the cost of the exams here in Arizona?
"....They've agreed of a maximum cost of $15.00 per student per test cost for the TECHNOLOGY-BASED exam.  This obviously doesn't include the cost for the TECHNOLOGY  (laughs).  It's just for the test administration, scoring, all of that.  Obviously, there will be pen and paper options for students with some accommodations for those states who, you know, many of us have rural areas and don't know about our...our connectivity is probably...devices is a much easier question to figure out an answer versus what's our connectivity, broadband, with everyone doing the test at the same time.  What's going to happen?  The fully operational exam probably will not be in the first year of '14-'15 but it will be completely field tested for all of the technology enhance and then fully operational in the next year."
She went to law school.
And the Executive Director of the Arizona State Board said this?

"There are some challenges that come along with that (technology) in terms of our existing infrastructure and devices in our schools.  And that's something that I hope is a subject of conversation in this session."

Oh, we're going to pay for it.  But, let's cram this down the throats of our citizens first.  We can worry about the logistics, cost and lost freedom later......