Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Common Core Career Readiness

Economic Development with the Human Resource - 
just one goal of Common Core

By Jeannie George, 3D Research Group

There’s been a shift in education. The goal has changed from ‘gaining knowledge’ to ‘getting a job’. That goal has caused the deliberate dumb-down; the steady deterioration of every academic subject taught in school. Thus, students (human resources) are being trained to be career ready.

Remember the adage, “knowledge is power?” It’s often misquoted as “information is power”.  Either way, your private information (or knowledge about you) in the hands of the elite empowers them to control you. And they plan to do just that.

There have always been sources that encourage gaining knowledge; none better than the book of Proverbs. From “fools hate knowledge” (1:22) to “wise men lay up knowledge” (10:14) to “without knowledge it is not good” (19:2) to “a man of knowledge increaseth strength” (24:5) we’re taught knowledge is a good thing. The lack of it is not good. This refers to YOU having knowledge – not your government having knowledge about you.

And, so it has been, as schools have replaced subject matter (knowledge) with emphasizing the adjustment of attitudes to make good worker drones, society has blindly accepted the new goals. Through School-to-Work or College and Career Ready, the terms mean the same thing, the children are being prepared to go to work with no more knowledge than it takes to do the job they’ll be assigned.

Have you heard students are getting college credit for high school work? Have you wondered if that makes them doubly smart? Have you heard the students are leaving school to work jobs or go to another location for ‘advanced’ education or taking classes to hurry them into college or career? Surely you must know it isn’t because they’re so much smarter than their grandparents.

The big question is, “how do you find out how this is being accomplished?” What’s going on and how in the world do you figure out where this originates? More specifically, where will you find the legislation that is promoting this? The answer is - anywhere and everywhere. 

In Indiana, we had an economic development bill, HB 1003, passed in 2014 that explains how businesses, schools (public and charter), tax money and students will be used. The bill looks thoroughly fascist to me, but I could be wrong. And, Republican house members could repent of their dirty deeds. Neither is likely.

This economic development will assist Indiana businesses by giving tax credits so they can develop basic workforce skills for their future employees. Now, who would think that businesses should expect to train their employees at their own expense? I digress. The grants will be administered by “the corporation”. The corporation isn’t identified in this bill. However, The Indiana Economic Development Corporation* is the corporation awarding the grants to school corporations and charter schools to support the cooperative arrangements with businesses for training students.

In this bill we also find the Indiana Workforce (and Education) Intelligence System is now Indiana Network of Knowledge (INK). This data collecting system is necessary for a federated data system to track the students from preschool to the work place! But we’re not to worry because Indiana has a “routine and ongoing compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act” (FERPA). Of course, FERPA won’t protect anyone’s rights or privacy. But, hey, doesn’t it make you feel warm and loved to think they know you want to be protected?

In a nutshell, here’s what I think the bill says.

The school corporations and/or charter schools (no elected boards here) get grants to send the students to work at businesses. (This business will be chosen by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. These political cronies (none elected) will certainly approve the businesses that are on their “favored status” (my term) list. 

The students will be missing what we think of as traditional education because the folks in charge want them dumbed down. The business trains the student for a “high wage, high demand job that requires industry certification.” Then, the business proposes to employ the student and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation enters into an agreement for a tax credit for the business if that business qualifies under the corporation’s eligibility standards. Duh! Political cronyism will assure they comply one way or another with the standard. 

Did you notice? The business only has to ‘propose’ to hire – whatever that means.

Terms which beg for definitions are “high wage”, “high demand” jobs. After searching for any kind of definition from Indiana sources, it appears the high wage might not be so high. Generally, high wage and high demand don’t come in the same job definition. The best lists I could find for high demand included certified nursing assistant (CNAs), truck drivers, casual and fast food managers and crews, call centers, dental and medical assistants, pharmacy techs and retail clerks. I know, I know, all of these don’t require certificates – yet, but we’re looking at “high demand”. RNs, general dentists and physical therapists are also listed but they require more than a certificate so they don’t qualify.

Certification is certainly no guarantee of an average or median wage, but I can find NO evidence that it equals “high wage”. Since every job is eventually going to require certification, certification gives no assurance of even a decent wage. High wage certified jobs in high demand were not to be found.  Where are the definitions in this bill? The wages that I found for high demand certified jobs ran between  $23,000 and $38,700.

Now, don’t under-estimate these guys. They may start out putting a few of the brighter students into good paying positions in some of the businesses. After all, when they’re trying to sell a concept to the public, they’ll showcase it long enough to get it embedded. They may even have to ‘fudge’ the figures, but they have a long history of this.

This is what I think the results will be. The school will get money to do nothing more than perhaps fill out some paper work. The business will receive tax credit to train their own workers. These “favored” businesses get the opportunity to hire the best and certify (or fail) the rest. Perhaps they won’t need to really hire anyone (just propose to hire) - because next year another round of new trainees will be available. The certificate may or may not be worth the paper it’s written on. And, the students? The jobs they are trained to do may or may not be available. They may get a job; maybe not.  High wage? Not likely. 

The bottom line: the taxpayer is paying the school; subsidizing the business and getting no representation for their taxation. All the while, the students’ opinions, attitudes, performance and more are being data banked. Wouldn’t Adolf be proud?

What happened to the thinking that perhaps they should be gaining knowledge?  No one even remembers that used to be a goal. 

* “…a body politic and corporate, not a state agency but an independent instrumentality exercising essential public functions”