Large District Superintendent’s Clique’s Letter to Pearson

The NC Large District Superintendent Consortium (NCLDSC) has a beef with Pearson and Powerschool. In a letter I obtained through a FOIA on the NCLDSC, it would seem Pearson’s Powerschool is not well thought of by the Large District Clique.

From that FOIA, it would seem that this Large District clique is working closely with NC New Schools and BEST NC. Both of which have promoted the Common Core or have ties to the NC Chamber of Commerce’s attempt to drown out parents on the topic– Hire Standards. More on the NCLDSC Clique later, back to Powerschool.

According to the letter, the reps from Pearson have been rude and the NCLDSC is asking for “no charge” for the 2014-15 school year “as a good faith investment in our long-term partnership”.

 

NC DPI has dropped millions of dollars into Powerschool and it was never intended to support a whole state. It was built with single districts in mind. The single, initial contract for Powerschool was over four millions at $4,303,150.  Between personnel, hardware, software, installations, migrations and CEDARS spending — the number goes way higher.  I’m still digging through the 4 big boxes of paper DPI sent me to comply with my FOIA for Powerschool.  Related: Pearson Powerschool Contract – September 2012

For those of you not up to speed on Powerschool and what a cluster it’s been, get up to speed with some of these articles.

The irony of Pearson and Powerschool being tied to the Longitudinal database required by Common Core and the big push by the NCLDSC to lock Common Core in for 7 years in North Carolina should not be missed here.

 

 

A thank you goes out to Ann Doss Helms of the Your Schools Blog for linking.

A quick note about part of Philip Price’s response:

There are several incorrect statements included in the write-up around the letter.  PowerSchool was designed and is supporting the entire State (the comments state that it was never intended to support the whole state). CEDARS has nothing to do with PowerSchool other than the fact that data will come from PowerSchool to CEDARS.  The contract w/Pearson does cover all the costs for implementation.

Incorrect? Oh really?
Powerschool was never designed for a whole state to implement. It was designed and meant for implementation for individual districts — and Mr. Price knows it. NC is the first to ever try to put Powerschool into place on the state level.

It is not really ‘supporting’ a whole state. It’s been riddled with errors and plagued by “glitches” that included the delayed report cards and continues to drop entire chunks of data. One teacher reported to me this week that all of her grades had vanished and a second reported to me she spends more time doing data entry and then RE-ENTERING that data because Powerschool keeps dumping it on her. Elementary parents can’t even get access this year!

CEDARS does have something to do with Powerschool. Powerschool is a Pearson product, as was the system NC used previously. Pearson is also very closely tied in with Common Core, which requires a state longitudinal database system (SLDS). That SLDS is CEDARS. Price himself states “data will come from PowerSchool to CEDARS”.  If you think that’s coincidence, I have oceanfront property in Kansas to sell you. By the way, what data does Powerschool send CEDARS? I and another parent have been asking for this information for almost a year now.

On the costs covered by contract: Which contract? So far, I’ve found 3 different ones for various moving parts that make Powerschool possible in the four big boxes of documents I received back in my FOIA on Powerschool.

Posted in Common Core, Education, FOIA, ladyliberty, The Articles | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Occupy Monday – Tennessee Edition

North Carolina’s Far Left protest movement has cropped up again. I’ve previously documented Moral Monday in Chicago, Wisconsin, New York, Florida and Georgia. We’ve even seen a Moral Monday protester selected to fill the late Senator Nesbitt’s seat at the North Carolina General Assembly. This time we’re seeing it in neighboring Tennessee.

From The Tennessean, emphasis added:

Activists representing unions, a student group and other left-leaning organizations launched a new protest movement Monday evening with a rally inside the state Capitol.

About 60 protestors gathered for the first of what could become a series of events meant to fire up liberal voters ahead of the fall elections and keep them energized afterward. Calling their event a “Moral Monday” — a reference to much larger protests that began in in the North Carolina Capitol last year — the group pressed for stronger labor representation, the repeal of new voter identification requirements and the expansion of TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program.

“This is what? Our house,” organizer Justin Jones said, leading the group in a call-and-response. “They’re scared of us.”

State police, lobbyists and other bystanders looked on as the group protested for about an hour outside the closed doors of the state Senate and House of Representatives. The protest did not disrupt proceedings in either chamber, and the group appeared to disperse peacefully without any arrests.

The group included a few ministers, several activists from the United Auto Workers and representatives from organizations such as Jobs for Justice and Tennessee Citizen Action. Jones, a freshman at Fisk University, was one of a handful of students who attended.

So, Occupy style chants, more complaining about Voter ID and Medicaid, Far Left liberal groups and Unions again.  Basically calls for more big Government in our lives.

I see “Jobs for Justice” in there too. Here’s the East Tennessee website. Jobs with Justice is a union front group pushing for minimum wage increases. See what they’ve been up to in North Carolina: Occupy 2.0: NC’s Triangle Jobs For Justice

About Justin Jones

The Tennessean article quotes “organizer Justin Jones”.  Justin Jones likes to travel it seems, as he was also an “organizer” in California at a rally over the George Zimmerman acquittal in July 2013.  Jones is apparently an Oakland, California native. He’s perhaps at Fisk University because according to the ‘U.S. Peace Index’, it’s one of the “5 most violent states“.

From San Francisco Gate:

The July 20 rally in front of the federal courthouse in Oakland had been peaceful, in contrast to other protests in the city over George Zimmerman’s acquittal on murder charges in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Then Mayor Jean Quan began speaking, and the energy shifted.

Hecklers drowned her out, and unease spread through the crowd of several hundred people. It seemed possible that another Oakland demonstration would spin out of control. Speakers calmed the crowd, but it wasn’t until a young organizer named Justin Jones, dressed as if he was headed for a school function, jumped onto the makeshift stage that the rally’s peaceful passion returned.

Jones, 17 – the same age as Trayvon Martin – led the crowd in singing “We Shall Overcome.” The rally carried on, and the day ended with no confrontations with police and no windows smashed.

Jones worked the demonstration like a lifelong activist that day, talking to each heckler to keep the peace and shaking hands with people in the crowd. Few realized it was the first time Jones had organized something of its kind.

It won’t be the last, said Jones, who just graduated from Hercules High School and is planning to start at Fisk University next month.

Jones apparently is smart enough to get into a University but unable to get a driver’s license, passports, gun permit or other photo ID. Really? He’s very good at singing, however:

Rep. G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis, tried to amend a bill he presented in the House subcommittee Wednesday to allow valid student ID cards. Fisk University student Justin Jones told the subcommittee he has registered to vote in Tennessee but has no driver’s license, passport, gun-carry permit or other photo ID required under the law for voting. He asked that his Fisk photo ID, and others issued by Tennessee colleges, be allowed.

The panel killed the amendment but voted to send the issue to a state research agency for study and a report to lawmakers in 2015, which Hardaway agreed to. But when Carr called up the next bill, the students began singing. - KnoxBlogs.com

 

 

Posted in Left Leaning, Liberals Gone Wild, Moral Monday, Occupy, Occupy 2.0, Social Justice, The Articles, Voter ID | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The NC Supreme Court Races

The North Carolina Supreme Court races this year have gotten a little interesting and with the Republicans finally having control over the legislature and Governors mansion, the Democrats likely are turning their sights on a way influence the final stop on what seems to be a steadily chugging conservative train ride: The Courts.

There has been some musical chairs and surprises in these races.  First let’s look at the candidates. I’m including the Justice positions here, not the court of appeals.

The Races – Primary

The Races – No Primary 

* Incumbant

In the Associate Justice race containing Levinson, Hudson and Doran, the insertion of Doran seems to have come at a surprise.  Hudson is one of the 3 Democrats on the court. Cheri Beasley and Chief Justice Sarah Parker are the other two. Parker is forced to retire, by law, this year in August at age 72. Doran’s entry here will force a primary to occur in that race so that the selection is narrowed to to candidates. NC law states that judicial candidates are to run in non-partisan races. NC law also says that when three or more candidates file for the same seat, there has to be a primary election in order to reduce the number to two candidates.

Given there are three candidates (Levinson, Hudson, Doran), an elimination of one of them will happen by primary. With two Republican backed candidates in this race, turn out of Republican voters will be higher and perhaps push Hudson right out of the race in the primary.  To restate, it is feasible that Doran and Levinson could knock Hudson out during the primary as Hudson seems to have little name recognition despite serving six years. The Left and the News and Observer have tried to make hay out of Doran’s entry into the race since she works for the  N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law (NCICL). Why? Because… the Left’s got to have their boogey man, Art Pope.

In the Associate Justice race with incumbant Cheri Beasley, she faces Mike Robinson. Beasley was a Perdue appointment. In order to retain her seat, Beasley has to run for re-election this year.  Beasley was apparently supposed to have one challenger – Ola Lewis. It appears that when Mike Robinson entered the race, Ola Lewis decided to hop out of that race. Lewis instead decided to challenge Mark Martin for the Chief Justice spot — a race which if Martin was running alone in as Chief Justice Parker was ending due to legal restrictions on age limit. In the next installment, we’ll take a closer look at why that swap by Ola Lewis might have taken place and what it means.

 

 

 Update: Thank you to Carolina Plott Hound for linking!

Posted in Elections, Legal Related, NC Politics, The Articles | Tagged | 1 Comment

Common Core Conflicts Of Interest from Massachusetts to NC

Well, as Common Core and the high stakes testing controversy heats up nationwide, more calls for accountability and of conflicts of interest emerge. We’ve seen Oklahoma Governor Fallin be called out for her dual role with the National Governors Association. This time in Massachusetts.

Peabody Patch:

The School Committee voted unanimously to ask officials to review a conflict of interest involving Mitchell D. Chester, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Peabody School Committee continues to be concerned about the new Common Core standards and is asking state officials to review a potential conflict of interest involving Mitchell D. Chester, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The School Committee voted unanimously to ask officials to review the conflict of interest because Chester also serves as chairman of the governing board for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a consortium that developed the new assessment system that will likely replace the MCAS tests in 2015, reported The Boston Globe.

Breitbart restates the issue:

Mitchell Chester is both the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education in Massachusetts and the national chair of the governing board of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), one of the two testing consortia, the role of which is to develop assessments aligned with the highly controversial Common Core centralized academic standards.

Have a gander at why this truly is a conflict with Chester’s involvement at PARCC and the money to be made there over at Mercedes Schneider’s blog. Schneider also gets into the CCSSO connection to PARCC and Pearson. Ah, the CCSSO – one of the two trade groups along with Acheieve Inc. who foisted the copyrighted Common Core on us.  That leads me to point out, yet again, the conflict of interest right here in North Carolina with Dr. Atkinson serving as both NC State Superintendent of Schools AND President elect of the CCSSO.

AtkinsonPresElect

Citizens are now becoming aware of this point, as seen in the public comments given at the meeting of the Common Core Legislative Research Committee meeting on March 20th. Check out the second speaker, parent Barbie Harper, at the 2:05 mark. Listen to her full comments.

 “And parents are asking…which hat is Dr. Atkinson wearing in this embattled cause? President elect of CCSSO or State Superintendent?” (3:52 mark)

Which hat, indeed.

Here’s the full video:

 

 

 

Posted in Common Core, Education, NCGA, The Articles | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Carville Wants Jeb To Be GOP Nominee?

I think Democrats are just as nervous about 2016 as they are 2014. James Carville totally let us peek at his cards on ABC’s “This Week”.  Clearly, the Democrats would prefer another Bush to run against and all that entails.  Carville solidifies this desire for Jeb Bush to be the nominee by specifically mentioning Common Core.

Video clip:

Carville: Everybody’s going to have a poll in the field showing how they fare in the general election against Hillary. They’re not going to not nominate somebody because of Common Core. Trust me. 

*Crosstalk*

Carville:  The party knows, and I use this word advisedly, that if it loses the 2016 presidential election, the Republican Party as we know it today will be extinct. 

*Crosstalk*

Carville:  This will be the 6th out of 7th election they’ve lost the popular vote. The Republicans want to win this. That’s going to be the biggest issue in January 2016: I can beat Hillary Clinton.”

Right now, a shoe can beat Hillary Clinton. I think the Democrats are underestimating their party’s enthusiasm gap for Hillary as a candidate. We’ll see more of this push by media and talking heads to dictate to the GOP who their nominee will be just like we did in 2008 and 2012. Problem is, I think the Democrats know a lot of people are not listening to them anymore. They’re listening to Rand Paul.  Hence we have “but.. but… Jeb Bush!” from Carville.

JEB’S COMMON CORE PROBLEM

Those paying attention to the growing protests over Common Core know that Jeb Bush is one of the epicenters of the controversy. He is totally committed and has done everything in his power to push and promote it right alongside the hundreds of Gates Foundation grant recipients and the US Chamber of Commerce. Don’t forget that Jeb went meddling in ALEC’s resolution to oppose the Common Core and get them on board his fail train.

CommonCoreJeb

Jeb really cares about the human capital kids. We must have good little worker bees and Common Core will mold them!  Jeb Bush has even  insulted citizens protesting it:

“Yesterday, March 13, as you entered the Governors Club in Tallahassee, you spoke to me as a small group of us held signs to get your attention to our serious concerns about your federal education program called Common Core,” wrote Quackenbush.

“Three grandmas drove 12 hours each to see you, face to face, and you turned and scoured at us as though we were naval lint … pond scum.  As I stated ‘Stop Common Core,’ your disparaging retort was ‘it is a good thing there’s only three of you.’ 

As you turned and disappeared into the exclusive club, $1,000 per plate event to celebrate the Foundation for Florida’s Future, I said, ‘There were lots more, but we weren’t invited.’” - Sunshine State News

Kind of sounds like something the current occupant of the White House would say. I can tell you without a doubt, Carville is right about his statement, “They’re not going to not nominate somebody because of Common Core.”  Carville is talking about the GOP Establishment though, not the people voting.

The Establishment and media messed with voters and chose our candidates in 2008 and 2012, but  Common Core messes with our kids. Common Core might not keep him from being nominated, but it will keep him from being elected. Where Romney won moms over, Bush will lose them in droves.

Posted in Common Core, Democrats, Elections, GOP, The Articles, Video | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment