Common Core Aligned: Getting Smart

CommonCoreAligned“…to create just these kinds of tests—next-generation assessments aligned to the common core. When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well—and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching.”Bill Gates, 2009 Speech To Natl. Conference of State Legislatures

The goal is to align everything so that students and the money have nowhere to go but Common Core.


Reason TV has published a video titled, Silicon Valley Wants to Teach Your Kids.

Read the description for the video, emphasis added is mine:

Published on Jan 14, 2015

If you are someone who grew up sitting in a classroom every day; facing the chalkboard and watching the seconds tick by on a clock until the bell rang, then online education may feel a bit strange at first. But people like Tom Vander Ark, the CEO of Getting Smart, say that learning online is not only the future of education but one of the ways to make it more effective.

“These innovations in tools and schools make the opportunity for people to learn better every single month,” says Vander Ark to Reason managing editor Katherine Mangu-Ward. He admits that most students will still learn in the classroom, but online tools will be blended into their education, making the educational experience specific to their needs.

“Learning is becoming blended, it’s becoming personalized, and increasingly competency based, which means [students] show what they know and they progress based on mastery,” says Vander Ark, who had a hand in creating ed tech startups Coursea, Class Dojo, and Edmodo (which has already raised $30 million.)

The New York Times reported Jan. 11 that venture and equity financing for education technology companies was up 55 percent over the previous year at almost $1.87 billion.

Getting Smart is on the Common Core train: Common Core: A Platform for Equity & Innovation

About Tom Vander Ark:

Tom is Treasurer for the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), board chair of Charter Board Partners, and is a director of Bloomboard, Digital Learning Institute, Imagination Foundation, and Strive for College. Tom is a national advisory board member for Communities In Schools, National Association for Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), and New Classrooms.

Read more about iNACOL and the CCSSO here.

This push for digital learning and digital apps comes from familiar roots: Jeb Bush and Bill Gates.

Take a good look at the “Digital Learning Council“, convened by Jeb Bush.

I have first hand experience with Class Dojo. It is an app designed to track and influence student behavior in the classroom by giving and taking points away from students. The whole class can see the points.  It’s a shaming app, in my opinion, and teachers are using this without parental permission in many cases.

Related Reading:

* Crossposted at

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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  1. Pingback: The Common Core Weekend Reads – 1-18-15 | Lady Liberty 1885

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