By: Jamie Lee | TABU –
“We are not speaking of education in the narrower sense, but of that other education in virtue from youth upwards, which makes a man eagerly pursue the ideal perfection of citizenship, and teaches him how rightly to rule and how to obey. This is the only education which, upon our view, deserves the name; that other sort of training, which aims at the acquisition of wealth or bodily strength, or mere cleverness apart from intelligence and justice, is mean and illiberal, and is not worthy to be called education at all.” — Plato, Laws I, 643e
The previous article, The Untold History of Modern Education in the U.S., explored how men of great wealth in the early 1900s introduced compulsory education and conspired to manipulate all facets of public education through Non-Government Foundations to create an object-based education system. Through their well-funded NGOs, the Rockefellers, Guggenheims, Vanderbilts, Morgans, and Fords were able to create, by design, a manageable work labor force that would not challenge the status quo thus making people more predictable and easier to control.
We are creating the most meaningful reform of school education in a generation designed to fundamentally transform America’s education system. — President Barrack Obama
Today these same large institutions are still very much in power and control greatly influencing our public education system. They have been joined by the mega Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Microsoft) as well the Joyce Foundation (timber), Walton Foundation (Walmart) and Broad Foundation (Kaufman/Broad Homebuilders) helping to create and implement a one-size-fits-all, global IT-based education system.
In January 2002, President Bush signed the “No Child Left Behind Act” (NCLB) into law which tied school funding to a punish/reward test performance system. President Bush’s message at that time was, “Test all students every year to hold schools accountable for closing achievement gaps.” Just after taking office in 2009, President Obama announced his “Race To The Top” (RTTT) program, rewarding critical school funding to only those schools who showed excellent improvement in test performance. He dangled $ 4.3 Billion to reward schools ‘points’ for satisfying certain federally determined performance-based standards. There was another added kicker though. The funding would only be allocated to those states and school districts who “voluntarily” subscribed to the newly created Common Core States Initiative (CCSI) program.
In June 2008, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation granted $2.2 million to the Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership to promote the adoption of national academic standards and host a conference with the National Governors Association (NGA) to explore strategies to make the United States a “global leader in education”. The NGA along with the Council of Chief State School Officials (CCSSO), NGO’s based out of Washington D.C., began accepting grants from private organizations to write Common Core guidelines.
In the spring of 2009, the RTTT was funded, with states having to demonstrate their “willingness and readiness to adopt common college-and-career-ready” standards. On June 1, 2009 The Common Core State Standards initiative was launched and 48 states, led by their state governance and chief school superintendents, signed on. By June of 2010, the final CCSS standards were published with an accompanying announcement targeting the end of 2014 for Common Core standards to be adopted in all states.
Common Core is described by proponents as a utopian education for the 21st century with primary, almost exclusive, emphasis from grades K-12 on mathematics and English language arts through “disruptive innovation” using the latest in “educational technological advancements”. In reality, as you will read below, it is a critical step towards the stated goals of the wealthy elite to uniformly ‘mono-mind’ the global educational system, create a 24/7/365 community at our public schools, and to develop a “from-cradle-to-work-force-ready” individual.
The real big picture goals for the reformation of our public schools comes directly from Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education. These excerpts are direct quotes from his interview on the Charlie Rose Show in March of 2009:
- “I think our schools should be open 12, 13 hours a day and open 6 to 7 days per week.”
- “Attach health care clinics to the development of our schools.”
- “Schools become the center of our community life so great things can happen.”
- “We can bring in NGO’s to help with the schools….and turn the schools over to these NGO’s after 3 p.m. until 9 p.m.”
- “Work collectively and collaboratively with private institutions to provide this vast array of educational enrichment social and even medical services to the families…to meet the students’ social and emotional needs.”
- “Today, you have single parents working, parents working 2-3 jobs, children going home to no-parent families and our schools have not kept up. And I think this is an opportunity to create what a 21st century school has to look like. This needs to be the norm not the exception and all of our stores need to be open longer.” ( italicized emphasis added to apparent “slip” of the tongue)
- “This battle is more than just about education, this battle is about social justice.”
Private/Public Partnerships (PPP) are the legal vehicles being used to implement Mr. Duncan’s plans for schools being the central hub of our communities with big business partnership. PPP involves a contract between a public sector authority and a private party, in which the private party provides a public service or project and gains financial, technical and operational benefits while government takes the liability and the risk in the project while the NGO’s write educational policies to be enacted in the schools. These NGO’s, like the Gates Foundation, help drive the national and global academic curriculum, standards and performance criterion that schools must adhere to or risk reduced school funding from federal and state levels. Local school districts are virtually excluded from this process.
One example of the how the new PPP’s are already at work in our schools was during the H1N1 virus pandemic scare of 2009, that according to the federal government, started from a corporate CAFO pig farm owned by Smithfield Foods in southern Mexico City. President Obama’s Council of Advisors immediately got on TV and said that ‘we could be seeing possibly 90,000 deaths in this country’ from the disease. The Obama Administration then authorized the fast track production (bypassing regulatory FDA testing and approval) of mass H1N1 vaccinations to made available while the National Institute of Health prepaid the vaccine manufactures to expedited delivery of the needed vaccines.
However, the globally-hyped pandemic failed to materialize in 2009. Six months later in the U.S., according to CNN, just 3900 had died in the U.S. or .000125% of the population. This number was nearly equal to the low end of annual deaths in this country from the common flu (3500).
The vaccine makers were then paid for all excess H1N1 vaccines in their inventory that were about to expire worthless. This, after the Department of Health had purchased and supplied most of the ingredients to the vaccine makers to make the vaccines in the first place, sighting the national emergency. Additionally, legal immunity exemption from liability was enacted in 2009 to protect the vaccine makers from prosecution due to the declared state of emergency. We then saw drug and grocery stores across the nation began offering discounts on food and goods to get vaccinated. Since that time vaccine makers have enjoyed a 35% return on investment annually, $50 Billion in 2009 alone, allowing vaccine makers and their shareholders the largest return on investment in the medical industry over the past five years.
By 2011, schools in California and other states were then required to enforce mandatory vaccinations at the 7th grade level (unless an opt out form is filed) for other virus’ as regulators and government officials site health safety and security while the private vaccinators make bank.
As of 2014, it has now become law in California that parents who wish to opt out of the mandatory vaccinations for their 7th grade children must now go to a doctor to be ‘educated’ as to the dangers of not vaccinating their child before admittance into public school is accepted. Additionally, at the end of 2013, in his last days in office, New York City Mayor Bloomberg made law that all Pre-School and Day Care children must be vaccinated or they cannot attend, no exemptions allowed.
If you follow the Center for Disease Controls (CDC) recommended vaccination schedule, your child will receive 49 doses of 14 vaccines by the time he/she is 6 years of age. And by the age of 18, the CDC recommends that children should have gotten 69 doses of 16 vaccines.
Regardless of whether certain vaccines are necessary, safe and effective, parents are losing the right to be able to make the final decision on their child’s health and wellbeing if they want to keep them in public schools as the privatization of profits to the corporation is allowed coupled with the socializing of costs to the people while school administrators are required to become the enforcement police. If Arne Duncan realizes his vision, public schools will become hosts to healthcare clinics nationwide in the not-so-distant future.
The National Governors Association and the CCSSO created the Common Core Standards Initiative (CCSI). Legally, they also retain “all right, title, and interest to the same” meaning they own the Common Core curriculum copyrights and use is granted by a Public License from them. This means that no one, including teachers, administrators or parents, can alter the contents of the CC curriculum without facing possible legal action. Additionally, states cannot amend the Common Core States Initiative due to the “living work” statement in the terms and agreement clauses.
The NGA and CCSSO are private corporations based in Washington D.C. and though many of the members of NGA are our countries state governors, while they are in Washington D.C. conducting business for NGA or CCSSO, they are acting solely as lobbyists because Washington D.C. is a “District” not a state. This allows the governors to conduct business for their lobbying association while in the District of Columbia and then, when they return to the states, they don once more their governor hats to mandate the CC agenda agreed upon by the NGA and CCSSO associations. And it is all perfectly legal.
NGA and CCSSO members meet in a specific building in Washington D.C. called the “Hall of States” owned by the State Service Organization (SSO). The Hall of States acts as caretaker for many NGO incorporated associations effectively acting as a government inside a government.
According to the Council of Chief State School Officials website, they are a non-partisan, non-profit organization comprised of public officials partnering with a vast array of NGOs, including lobbyist groups like Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA). SIIA serve and represent more than 150 member for-profit companies providing software, digital content and other technologies for public and private schools including Microsoft, Apple, Wireless Generation, IBM and Discovery Education – a spin-off of the television channel that gave us Amish Mafia.
Also in affiliation with CCSSO are some of the biggest publishing houses: McGraw-Hill, Scholastic, and Pearson who produce the data and educational material provided to public schools. Together, these technology, media and publishing corporations work with policymakers to integrate their products into curricula.
Since its inception in 2008, the creation of Common Core has largely been funded by the richest man in the word, Bill Gates. From 2009 to 2011 alone, he has donated over $22 million to CCSSO and $2,259,780 to the National Governors Association. When Common Core was debated at the Indiana State Capitol, who showed up to advocate for Common Core? “Stand for Children”, which Bill Gates funds. He also funds the League of Education Voters, the Center for Reinventing Public Education and the Partnership for Learning, all Common Core advocates; Mr. Gates also owns Editorial Projects in Education, parent of Education Week magazine.
Wherever you see advocates for Common Core, you see Gates’ influence. He gave a million dollars to the national PTA to advocate to parents about Common Core. He gave $15 million to Harvard for “education policy” research. He gave $9 million to universities promoting “breakthrough learning models” and global education. Gates paid inBloom 100 million dollars to collect and analyze schools’ data as part of a public-private collaborative that is building “shared technology services.” InBloom, formerly known as the Shared Learning Collaborative, includes districts, states, and the unelected Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The list goes on and on and on.
According to Gates himself, he has spent five billion dollars to promote his vision of education since 2000. That buys a lot of influence.
My experience with the Common Core actually started when I was asked to sign on to them before they were written. … I was told I needed to sign a letter agreeing to the Common Core, and I asked if I might read them first, which is, I think, appropriate. I was told they hadn’t been written, but they still wanted my signature on the letter. And I said, ‘That’s absurd; first of all, I don’t have the legal authority to do that because our [Texas] law requires our elected state board of education to adopt curriculum standards with the direct input of Texas teachers, parents and business. So adopting something that was written behind closed doors in another state would not meet my state law.’ … I said, ‘Let me take a wait-and-see approach,‘ If something remarkable was in there that I found that we did not have in ours that I would work with our board … and try to incorporate into our state curriculum …
Then I was told, ‘Oh no no, a state that adopts Common Core must adopt in its totality the Common Core and can only add 15 percent.’ It was then that I realized that this initiative which had been constantly portrayed as state-led and voluntary was really about control. It was about control. Then it got co-opted by the Department of Education later. And it was about control totality from some education reform groups who candidly admit their real goal here is to create a national marketplace for education products and services.
Even more troubling to me was the lack of transparency. … These standards were written behind closed doors. … We didn’t know who the writers were until the project was complete.” — Robert Scott, then Commissioner of Education in Texas
The official stated reason for Common Core, as laid out by President Obama, is to create “a national set of standards that sets the bar for America’s school systems so our students have benchmarks by which to be measured against the rest of the world”. The Common Core standards require students to master a checklist of skills every year. While state education departments may add a limited number of learning objectives, classroom teachers are required to teach to these composite standards as the prime goal of their instruction. Teachers must teach from the prescribed list and at the prescribed pace. This one-size-fits-all approach is supposed to make children “college- and career-ready”, yet no scientific proof or previous experience has proven the new CC initiative would be successful.
A Common Core Validation Committee, comprised mostly of policy makers and school superintendents, was set up to review the standards of CC. According to the Homeschooling Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website:
Five members of the Common Core Validation Committee refused to validate the standards. Three of these individuals on the committee, R. James Milgram (professor of mathematics emeritus at Stanford), Sandra Stotsky (professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas and member of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education), and Ze’ev Wurman (a U.S. Department of Education official during the George W. Bush administration) have collaborated to write two studies that condemn the academic merit of the standards.
Ms. Stotsky and Mr. Wurman conclude that the Common Core English language arts standards do not make students “college- and career-ready,” arguing that the lack of literary material required by the standards does “not ensure…sufficient literary and cultural knowledge for authentic college-level work.” Mr. Milgram and Ms. Stotsky debunk the assertion that the standards are internationally benchmarked by demonstrating that the required readings for the British Columbia high school exit test and for Finnish secondary students are far above the Common Core requirements.
Ms. Stotsky, in commenting on the English language arts standards, notes that the vagueness of the Common Core makes it extremely difficult for teachers to design a workable course of study that actually follows the standards.
Mr. Wurman specifically examines the Common Core mathematics standards and concludes that the Common Core leaves students one or two years behind the National Mathematics Advisory Panel’s recommendations, the requirements of some states, and the standards of leading countries by students’ 8th-grade year.
He also cautions that the Common Core employs an approach to teaching geometry that ‘has not been widely used anywhere in the world, and the only known experience with it is considered a failure’.
Critics of the CC curriculum complain that the changed focus on educational material is designed mainly to get children ‘work-force’ ready and will not prepare them any better for college. CC dedicates its agenda to insuring that children spend much more time on a computer-learning curriculum and evaluation that directly takes educational value away from the teachers. One proponent of CC stated that Common Core will “erase the need of the # 2 pencil.”
Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” — Vladimir Lenin, Father of Communism
As we are already seeing, the indoctrination of Common Core’s Early Language Arts (ELA) texts for 1st – 6th grade emphasize solutions to social problems like the 1st grader reader with titles like “What Makes a Good Neighbor?” emphasizing social role modeling and social advocacy. Additionally, 6 year-olds are being asked to “respond with emotional wording when they write a call to action that they feel strongly about a problem that they want to do what is being asked of them” (ELA CC 1st grade primer, State of Utah, “Voices; Literature and Writing”). In the 3rd grade primer, the stated goal is for teachers to be measuring “Attitudes, Beliefs and Dispositions” complete with a chart for tracking each child’s performance. This information will all be lodged in data bases available for all business partners.
Alice Mercer, a California elementary school teacher with experience in high-poverty schools, noted on her blog that the current California standards for second grade writing focus on narrative and producing “friendly letters,” while the new Common Core asks second graders to write opinion pieces and research papers using documentary evidence from books. “From friendly letters to writing opinion pieces… that’s a mighty big leap,” Mercer wrote, predicting that in five years, the public will decry that “kids can’t write a decent friendly email.”
In high schools, the CC curriculum is replacing the current ratio of fiction to non-fiction reading material of 80-20% to a 40-60% ratio with much more emphasis being placed on dissecting and understanding non-fiction, including technical manuals. In the Common Core State Standards Initiative, available texts for science, math and technical subjects include: Mark Fischetti’s “Working Knowledge: Electronic Stability Control” (Scientific American, April 2007); Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management, issued in 2009 by the U.S. General Services Administration; Ray Kurzweil’s “The Coming Merger of Mind and Machine” (Scientific American Special Edition, January 2008); W. Wayt Gibbs, “Untangling the Roots of Cancer” (Scientific American Special Edition, June 2008); and Atul Gawande’s “The Cost Conundrum: Health Care Costs in McAllen, Texas” (The New Yorker, June 2009).
Where the CC math has been tried, it is not achieved any improvement (Utah) or has actually lowered the test scores from prior programs (Massachusetts). CC math postpones teaching algebra from 8th grade to 9th grade, leaving no room for calculus to be taught in high school. A confusing form of Geometry is taught that was thrown out of the Soviet Union 50 years ago.
While English and Math are the first subjects to be nationalized through Common Core, the aim is to eventually extend it to other areas as well — social studies, science, history, and more. High-school history teacher Thomas R. Eddlem summarized some of the issues he sees with the scheme in a note to The New American:
The real problem is that states have adopted history standards that are entirely process standards, with no subject content standards. For example, there’s nothing in Common Core about being able to explain why America seceded from Britain, or how the Constitution fulfills the ideal outlined in the Declaration of Independence of protecting God-given rights. It’s all process, such as: “Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text. As well, nearly all of the curriculum map — the unit goals, essential questions, resources used and assessment methods — is yet to be written. States that have adopted the vaguely worded standards have done so without the slightest clue as to how they will be implemented. Once the ‘public-private partnership’ that created the standards fills in the details is where the bias of the authors will show their real teeth.
The Common Core website, of course denies that its curriculum tells teachers what to teach. The site, in fact, claims that is a myth: “These standards will establish what students need to learn, but they will not dictate how teachers should teach.” Realistically, teachers will continually have to teach to pass the CC tests to meet standardized performance criteria. It will be to the child’s benefit (and to the teacher’s benefit) not to teach him/her critical thinking and problem solving, but rather to memorize desired information (teaching to the test only) since the measure of education will be the test scores. It will be the dumbing down of our children. The measure of a successful teacher will be reduced to almost exclusively the test scores as well.
The Common Core standards do not technically affect homeschoolers or even private schools for that matter, unless they receive federal funding. However, the big concern for home schools and private schools is that if the adoption of the CCSS leads to a national curriculum and ultimately national testing, it will pressure them to teach their students according to the standards as well. Recent statements from the College Board announce that they are making the move to changing the SAT to reflect the CCSS as well. If the SAT is based on one curriculum, this move will seriously affect private school and home school students who take the SAT. This may also cause colleges to accept only students who have an education based on the CCSS. Essentially, the future is wrought with questions for homeschoolers and privately educated students if the Common Core Standards are nationally implemented.
The U.S. Department of Education has already started a Common Core “technical review process” of test by “item design and validation.” The test writing stage is where the specifics of content, or in this case progressive ideologies, are inserted. Test questions need content and context, and since Common Core is about subjective processes, the content can be added without ever notifying the public. This is where the sleight of hand can come in. After content is tied to test questions, textbook manufacturers can write the necessary content into their products, the teachers will have to teach from the progressively-driven textbooks, and the circle will effectively be complete. Herein we see the dirty little Common Core secret: If the government can control what is tested, then it controls the curriculum.
Common Core changes the mission of the public education system from teaching children academic basics and knowledge to training them to serve the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards. Lisa Harris, a retired teacher and education activist, says that what she sees with Common Core is that instead of children being encouraged to succeed and excel to the highest level they can, the agenda is to replace the system whereby child chooses his/her career or determines where he/she wishes to pursue with one where the workplace or the career chooses the child. And then they track the students all along the way to slot them into whatever the workforce needs are (compare to Communism).
We are all born free and our lives are like an unfinished canvas. It is if we are all artists with a blank canvas. We are born to live and paint our masterpiece. It should be we ourselves who paint that masterpiece and not the government telling us what to paint.
Much of the CC curriculum is being created for greatly increased online learning as funding is made available from the federal and states to upgrade computers so that all will have access. The Obama administration announced in July of 2013 that they may raise taxes on everyone’s phone lines by about $5 per year to increase K-12 tech subsidies because most schools cannot currently administer the computerized Common Core tests coming out in 2015 due to bandwidth constraints.
President Obama announced the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will likely overhaul the schools and libraries universal service support program, commonly known as E-Rate. He also asked the U.S. Department of Education to use federal funding to give teachers more training in using technology. Established in 1996, E-Rate charges telecommunication companies for long-distance service, including cell lines, and uses the money to subsidize, among other things, school requests for phone lines, broadband Internet, and internal networks.
The nonprofit Education Superhighway has sampled K-12 schools’ connectivity levels and bandwidth speed nationwide through 350,000 tests in 18 states, for a representative sample of 15 percent of U.S. schools. Their research shows approximately 59 percent of schools have enough bandwidth to administer basic computer tests, but only 23 percent have enough bandwidth to handle online tests and textbooks.
Even fewer will have sufficient bandwidth for the tests by 2017 based on projected growth of use. No Common Core tests will be available offline starting in 2017-2018.
Additionally Code.org, an NGO, has launched its “Hour of Code” campaign to get students and teachers up to speed to learn the basics of programming. From the Code.org website:
The Hour of Code campaign aims to demystify computer science for students across the country by taking them through introductory tutorials that can be completed online, on a smartphone, or even unplugged. Code.org will offer online tutorials authored by numerous educational groups and challenges teachers, parents and even employers to encourage students of all ages to engage during Computer Science Education Week.
Code.org’s own tutorial has been created in collaboration with engineers from Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Facebook. Designed as a game that teaches basic coding principles, it will feature guest lectures by technologists including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and artwork from popular games such as Rovio’s “Angry Birds” and PopCap Games’ ‘Plants vs. Zombies.’” President Obama and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are also strong supporters of Code.org, reinforcing children online games directly with their educational learning.
Another program being fast tracked is the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC). 23 states have signed up to get children as young as 8 to be able to be proficient in typing essay-style answers to satisfy the new Common Core achievement test. Students work on computer skills as part of their education but the SBAC requires students to complete a story and explain how step by step they derived answers to math questions. Typing is just one of the worries about the coming tests.
Some districts already have complained that the exams — which could take 7 to 8 1/2 hours — are too long, eat into instruction time, clash with other tests students must take, and will monopolize computer labs across the state during the eight-week testing window.
You’ll have the same basic education no matter what State of the Union you’re in… and will provide a basic floor of competency. And that’s in the military what we’re looking for. We’re all about standards…And Common Core allows this floor to be established. – Major General Wesley E. Craig, U.S. Army
Common Core was first introduced into the U.S military over a decade ago which gives us an idea of how long CC has been organized. As we can see, the Common Core Standard Curriculum is a prerequisite requirement to be promoted in the military. This forced education in what the military calls its training and “doctrine” command, or TRADOC, should be an alarming title to anyone reading. This from the Army.mil website:
The Fort McCoy NCO Academy has offered the BNCOC and ANCOC stand-alone common core courses since December 2000, said Master Sgt. Dennis Martinson, Fort McCoy NCO Academy ANCOC and BNCOC course manager. BNCOC is the U.S. Army’s Basic Non-Commissioned Officers Course. This course is one in a series of steps throughout a soldier’s career that help him to be an effective leader. Some courses tend to include a lot of hands-on exercises such as the Warrior Leader Course, but the BNCOC puts more emphasis on written exams. In the fall of 2009, the course transitioned from a traditional classroom setting to an online course. While this is more convenient, some soldiers have complained that this diminishes their educational experience because it leaves out the student-teacher relationship. ANCOC – The current policies and procedures for soldiers selected to attend the Army’s Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course (ANCOC) began taking shape in 1989, when the Army Chief of Staff approved an initiative that made graduation from Primary Leadership Development Course, Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course (BNCOC), ANCOC and USA Sergeants Major Course a prerequisite for promotion.
Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power. – Benito Mussolini
Driving the technological move towards the “greatest change in education in a generation” are the NGO’s who are aligned with some of the biggest names in global business. Leading the pact by a factor of huge is the aforementioned Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Mr. Gates has made it his mission to uniformly revamp the public education system globally around IT platforms of learning because in his words, “Education is the one issue that is key to America’s future” he stated recently. New York City Schools chief Joe Klein issued a report titled “A Nation at Risk” that declared education to be an issue of national security.
What isn’t being discussed by Mr. Gates et. al is the huge influx of big business that will profit greatly for generations with this new online technological education system that his and other foundations have partnered up our government to implement. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation manage over $65 Billion in their fund and their stated focus and allocations are in education and his foundations declared “Decade of Vaccinations” programs.
Here are just a few of the Gates Foundation Partnerships:
- NCEE (National Center for Education and Economy), is funded by the Walton Foundation, Broad Foundation and Gates Foundation. NCEE is also funded by New Schools Ventures connected to Americas Choice and supports business model charter schools like KIPP and EDISON. America’s choice was acquired by Pearson Education the largest for profit education publishing and assessment company in the world and owns eCollege, Penguin Books, the Financial times and operate in 70 countries.
- ACT is a billion dollar international testing company who was instrumental in designing Common Core. Dixley Axley is on the Board of Directors for ACT and works for State Farm Insurance. Theodore Sanders is also on the Board of Directors for ACT and serves on the Education Commission of the States as part of the Business Round Table. Common Core has received direct funding from State Farm as well.
- ACHIEVE Corporation Ltd. is another testing and training center and helped design Common Core and is funded by the Gates Foundation as well as being funded by State Farm. State Farm aslos funds the Alliance for Excellence in Education (AEE). The co-chair for Achieve is Lou Gerstner Jr., former CEO of IBM.
- College Board (CEEB) is a membership association NGO that sells tests and is compromised of schools, colleges and universities and is funded by the Gates Foundation.
- With the exception of CEEB all companies and organizations listed above members of the American Legislative Exchange Commission or ALEC. ALEC is an organization dedicated to free market enterprise including education, and against federal “intrusion” into economics and industry, including education. It is more powerful than any lobby group. Behind closed doors, ALEC members, made up of industry moguls like Exxon, The Koch brothers, and Phillip Morris make deals with state legislatures that benefit their own corporate agenda and pass them through state laws under the guise of the state legislation.
Below is a list from the website of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) which reveals other national and global-for-profit private public partnerships based on Common Core standards with emphasis on kids using computers and online education.
Blackboard Inc. — A global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard’s solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
McGraw-Hill Education ($21.16 Billion market cap) — A division of The McGraw-Hill Companies and a leading global provider of instructional content, assessments, and teaching and learning solutions to help meet the needs and challenges of today’s students, educators, and professionals. Our technical innovations are changing the way people learn — and continue to learn — with e-books, online learning platforms and programs, and customized course and professional development websites. McGraw-Hill’s products reach beyond the classroom to prepare students for success in a rapidly changing global environment and a lifetime of learning.
Microsoft ($ 300.28 Billion market cap) — US Partners in Learning. Microsoft believes that every student has the right to a great education. Our mission is “simple” – albeit grand: to help students and educators throughout the world realize their full potential. We strive to achieve this mission through public/private partnerships designed to help school districts worldwide.
Promethean World LLC (PMTWF: $41.8 Million market cap) — Promethean helps make educational transformation a reality by leveraging technology to provide data-driven, evidence-based instructional improvement systems. Our unique approach provides an integrated, scalable platform for real-time instruction, learner response assessment, learning management, data analytics, collaboration and professional development. Promethean’s proven solutions help to improve teacher and leader effectiveness, turn around low performing schools and prepare college and career ready students.
Scantron — Scantron is committed to being the most trusted partner of intelligent data-driven technology solutions that accelerate student growth & achievement. We are among the world’s largest providers of pre-K-12 education solutions and one of its longest-established publishing houses. We deliver interactive, results-driven education solutions to 60 million students in 120 countries; and we publish renowned and awarded novels, non-fiction, children’s books and reference works for readers throughout the world.
Amplify — Amplify has pioneered the adaptation of mobile technologies for use in managing and improving teaching and learning in grades pre-K-12. Combining emerging mobile tools, such as handheld computers and digital pens, with the Web and high touch, in-person professional services, Amplify has developed offerings that streamline collection of data about student learning needs and school operations, facilitate data analysis and interpretation, and build educators’ ability to implement data-driven instructional programs that deliver improved outcomes for children.
Apple (AAPL: $ 479 Billion market cap) — At the end of 2013 Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted that Ipads had locked up 94% of the market for education tablets. “I’ve never seen a market share that high before”, he said on a conference call with anlaysts. Apple has partnered with Pearson International to provide Itune access to the Pearson’s Common Core System of Courses.
Pearson PLC, London England (PSO: $ 17.55 Billion market cap) — Pearson is the world’s leading education company. From pre-school to high school, early learning to professional certification, our curriculum materials, multimedia learning tools and testing programmes help to educate millions of people worldwide – more than any other private enterprise. Pearson’s Common Core System of Courses is the first all digital, tablet based English Language Arts and math curriculum created from the ground up to meet the intent of the Common Core Standards.
Intel Corporation (INTC: $ 127.33 Billion market cap) — Intel’s flagship Corporate Social Responsibility program, Intel® Teach, helps K-12 teachers of all subjects to learn to integrate technology effectively into their existing curriculum, focusing on their students’ problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration which are precisely the 21st century skills required if students are to thrive in the high tech, networked society in which we live. The Intel Teach Elements series of e-learning courses provide educators with flexible online and blended professional development.
K12 Inc. (LRN: $ 900 Million market cap) — K12 a technology-based education company, is the nation’s largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs for students in kindergarten through high school. K12 is a publicly traded company on the NYSE and offers academic services to online public and private schools, school districts, and other education entities. K12 offers a wide variety of innovative education solutions including full time online schools, blended school programs, and supplemental courses.
It targets at-risk students, spends less on teachers per pupil than the average US public school ($ 1054 vs. $2219). According to Whitney Tilson, research analyst, to date only 27% of students met the Adequate Yearly Progress benchmark and K12 also has refused outside auditors.
Measurement Incorporated — A pioneer in the field of performance assessment, the company has established a distinctive competency in constructed response scoring using both highly-trained professionals and advanced artificial intelligence technology. MI’s corporate philosophy is built on an uncommon commitment to client satisfaction and its dedication to the overarching goal of “Excellence in Assessment.”
MetaMetrics — MetaMetrics, Inc., a privately held educational measurement company, develops scientifically based measures of student achievement that link assessment with instruction, foster better educational practices and improve learning by matching students with materials that meet and challenge their abilities. The company’s team of psychometricians developed the widely adopted Lexile Framework for Reading; El Sistema Lexile para Leer, the Spanish-language version of the Lexile Framework; The Quantile Framework for Mathematics); and The Lexile Framework for Writing. In addition to licensing Lexile and Quantile measures to state departments of education, testing and instructional companies, and publishers, MetaMetrics delivers professional development, resource measurement and customized consulting services.
Renaissance Learning, Inc. — Renaissance Learning Inc. is a leading provider of technology-based school improvement and student assessment programs for K12 schools. Adopted by more than 70,000 schools, Renaissance Learning’s tools provide daily formative assessment and periodic progress-monitoring technology to enhance core curriculum, support differentiated instruction, and personalize practice in reading, writing and math. Renaissance Learning has seven U.S. locations and subsidiaries in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Scholastic (SCHL $ 1.08 Billion Market Cap) — Scholastic Education provides technology solutions and supplemental programs worldwide that support student achievement in PreK-12. Grounded in scientific research, Scholastic Education develops technology programs and services that include intervention, instruction, universal screening, assessment, data management and professional development. Scholastic Achievement Partners-the professional services arm of Scholastic Education-brings together the International Center for Leadership in Education, Math Solutions, and Scholastic’s Implementation Services team to offer a full range of professional services in human capital development across content areas, comprehensive school improvement, and program implementation
Texas Instruments (TXN: $ 46.86 Billion Market Cap) — A leader in developing graphing handhelds, Texas Instruments Educational and Productivity Solutions. Texas Instruments, is an education technology leader. Our mission-provide essential tools that help teachers create an engaging learning experience leading to higher student achievement in math and science. Our vision-all students inspired is to achieve their potential and become the innovators of tomorrow.
Cisco (CSCO: $ 117.73 Billion Market Cap) — At Cisco customers come first and an integral part of our DNA is creating long-lasting customer partnerships and working with them to identify their needs and provide solutions that support their success. The concept of solutions being driven to address specific customer challenges has been with Cisco since its inception.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt — We are among the world’s largest providers of pre-K-12 education solutions and one of its longest-established publishing houses. We deliver interactive, results-driven education solutions to 60 million students in 120 countries; (HMH was recently owned by the private equity firm of Bain Capital, a Presidential candidate Mitt Romney company.)
IBM (IBM: $203 Billion market cap) — IBM Global Education collaborates with schools, districts and state departments of education to create innovative business and technology solutions to enable continuous improvement in education. We help to improve student success, teacher effectiveness and institutional performance through a depth of experience in consulting services, analytics, infrastructure and business partner offerings.
Truenorthlogic — Truenorthlogic is the leading provider of comprehensive human capital management systems to K-12 education agencies working to improve student achievement by increasing educator effectiveness. With over one million licensed users, Truenorthlogic has a proven track record helping organizations achieve educational workforce excellence.
Google and Dell — Google and Dell announced at the Wireless EdTECH conference in October 2012 that they had partnered to create its “Chromebook for Education” which includes the “Google Play for Education” which will let teachers and students search for apps by subject matter and grade level and will align with Common Core Standards.
To further comprehend how huge this major and long term transformation is for our public education using Common Core we see where the most seasoned venture capital funds are putting their money in the latest rounds of ed-tech funding in 2013:
- Laureate Education $150,000,000 (investors: International Finance Corporation)
- Lynda.com $103,000,000 (investors: Accel Partners, Spectrum Equity, Meritech Capital Partners)
- OpenEnglish $65,000,000 (investors: Insight Venture Partners, Flybridge Capital Partners, Technology Crossover Partners)
- Coursera $63,000,000 (investors: New Enterprise Associates, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, International Finance Corporation, Learn Capital, GSV Capital)
- Knewton $51,000,000 (investors: Atomico, GSV Capital, Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Founders Fund)
- Sympoz $35,000,000 (investors: Foundry Group, Adams Street Partners, Tiger Global Management)
- Instructure $30,000,000 (investors: Bessemer Venture Partners, Epic Ventures, OpenView Venture Partners, TomorrowVentures)
- Pluralsight $27,500,000 (investors: Insight Venture Partners)
- Jumpstart $26,800,000 (investors: Azure Capital Partners, Telesoft Partners, Random House Ventures)
- creativeLIVE $21,500,000 (investors: Greylock Partners, The Social+Capital Partnership)
- WyzAnt $21,500,000 (investors: Accel Partners)
We want to see more states build comprehensive systems that track students from pre-K through college and then link school data to workforce data. We want to know whether Johnny participated in an early learning program and completed college on time and whether those things have any bearing on his earnings as an adult.2 All 50 states have had statewide longitudinal databases in place to track their students’ scores on assessments for the past decade”. — Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
With Common Core, the child will be directed into a particular career based on emotional and psychological data and then tracking them.
One part of the CCSSO or “the Superintendents’ Club” has a stated mission to “disaggregate student data”. Disaggregate means to take away anonymity. In partnership with US Department of Education (DOE) they created the Education Information Management Advisory Consortium (EIMAC), a network of state education agency officials tasked with data collection and reporting. EIMAC advocates on behalf of states to reduce data collection burden and improve overall quality of data to be collected at the national level through which they set up two models, the Data Quality Campaign and the National Data Collection Model. Under the National Data Collection Model their stated goal is to collect private data from each and every child according to their website will include gathering:
Name; nickname, religious affiliation, birthdate, ability grouping, GPA, physical characteristics, IEP, attendance, phone numbers, bus stop times, allergies, diseases, languages and dialects, number of attempts at a given assignment, delinquent status, referral date, non-school involvement, religious affiliation, meal type, screen name, maternal last name, voting status, marital status and even cause of death! The agreement with the Department of Education (DOE) states that the data is mandated to be reported fully and often to the DOE and produce ‘all student-level data in a manner consistent with an industry-recognized open-licensed interoperability standard’ approved by the DOE.’
The data mining software being used, beginning this year (2014), will be stored in a database designed by Wireless Generation, a subsidiary of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. The data will be collected by InBloom Inc., an non-profit like Wireless Generation, under the domain of one Bill Gates, who together with the Carnegie Foundation and other NGO’s set up the Wireless Generation through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Some 200,000 teachers in the U.S. are already using Wireless Generation data mining software.
From the HSLDA website:
Data collection will not be limited to homework grades, extracurricular activities, and future career paths. In February 2013, the Department of Education sponsored a study called Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance which analyzed how to record any factors that might affect educational success including socioeconomic background, classroom climate, personal goals, and emotions during homework assignments. The study laments that functional MRI machines, which can measure specific brain activity, are not practical for use in a school setting. But the authors note that the Gates Foundation is collaborating with researchers to explore other methods of “how specific brain activity is correlated with other cognitive and affective indicators that are practical to measure in school settings”. The study recommends that facial expression cameras, posture analysis seats, pressure computer mice, eye tracking devices, and computer programs to track a student’s mood be used in schools. Keeping tabs on the physiological activity of schoolchildren is the trajectory of the data systems developing alongside Common Core.
Massive new student data collecting sites are already being built. In 2012, the Gates Foundation spent $17 million with other NGO contributions to build inBloom’s $100 million database to track students from kindergarten through college. Per the revised version of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), information collected on students can be shared with third parties such as for profit education product companies worldwide.
Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Massachusetts committed to upload data from some school districts; Louisiana and New York began uploading almost all of their student records. The executive director for the New York Civil Liberties Union chastised the New York school districts saying, “Turning massive amounts of personal data about public school students to a private corporation without any public input is profoundly disturbing and irresponsible.” The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts similarly lambasted the Massachusetts Board of Education for assisting the Gates Foundation in “building a national ‘data store.’ After these outcries, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, and Massachusetts announced that they would not upload data to in Bloom.
The Common Core and the enlarged data systems containing detailed student information are not severable. The fact is that it is almost impossible for states to implement the Common Core without agreeing to help build one of the biggest and most detailed data systems in American history.
Big Brother is not just watching—he is attempting to track every child in America.
To get the states to comply and become linkable with the federal government created school data collection they tied the funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to incorporating the State Longitudinal Data Base Systems (SLDS). This created a virtual national data base which is tied to a NGO called SIA or State Interoperability Framework. This allows for “the unique collaboration of over 3,200 schools, districts, local authorities, states, US and International Ministries of Education, software vendors and consultants who collectively work to define the rules and regulations for educational software data interoperability”, according to the SIA website.
KMS Wristband phones for young children and older people. The phone can also send an alert if the wearer has left a prescribed area. (source)
And it gets even worse…
Schools will be required to data monitor student achievement through “psychometric evaluations” using “Psychometricians”. MetaMetrics, Inc., a partner of Common Core and a privately held educational measurement company, has developed scientifically based measures of student achievement that link assessment with instruction, foster better educational practices and improve learning by matching students with materials that meet and challenge their abilities. They will be using their own “psychometricians” for evaluations of the students and teachers.
In 2012, The Gates Foundation granted $1.7 million to Clemson University and the National Center on Time and Learning to ““to measure engagement physiologically with Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Galvanic Skin Response to determine correlations between each measure and develop a scale that differentiates different degrees or levels of engagement” These galvanic skin response bracelets will be used presumably to measure students physiological responses for teacher evaluations and student performance.
In England it was recently discovered that over 1 million school children had been fingerprinted without the parents knowledge or consent. Using this new biometric technology it allows teachers – and some parents with online access – to monitor whether a child has turned up at school, what classes they have attended, the food they have eaten and the library books they borrow.
And parents from Washington state’s Puyallup School District successfully ended the implementation of palm-scanners this week after attempts to push the system without parental approval backfired.
According to the district, the devices, which use infrared technology to map vein patterns in students’ palms, would cut back on fraud by linking students pre-paid lunch account information to their biometric data.
“Efficiency is another reason for implementing this. The accuracy of the scanner reduces human error, reduces fraud, the ability for students to share numbers allows parents to know the money that they’re spending is being spent on their child’s lunch,” said Puyallup School District spokesperson Brian Fox to Kiro 7.
Parents were shocked to receive notification letters only a few weeks before the intended mass roll-out, even after two schools already began using the system. The 71 scanners purchased by the district for all 32 schools totaled $38,695. (Source)
Again, maybe not so coincidentally, Apple’s new smartphone, and many competitors phone rollouts in 2014, include a biometric fingerprint signature password to be used to sign on to their phones.
On Jan. 1, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law abill that allows California girls as young as 12 to receive the human papillomavirus , or HPV, vaccine without the consent or knowledge of their parents.
Many schools are also getting federal funding to install in class CCTV’s that are being connected to school administrators offices and local police stations. 1984 is 2014.
The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all, it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. H. L. Mencken
Based on a seven hour school day, children attending public schools will spend well over 16,000 hours of their lives in government education centers. In addition, a study by UCLA of 1,000 public schools, found that teachers averaged 7 minutes daily in personal exchange with students. With a 30-child class, that averages 14 seconds of interaction per student per day.
Mr. Arne Duncan and the NGO Citizenschools.org have well laid out plans for children to be spending a much longer time at public middle schools, especially in low-income communities to provide an expanded learning day, which Citizen School website claims is “rich with opportunities” and “Dedicated to helping all children discover and achieve their dreams. We mobilize a team to enable public middle schools in low-income communities to provide a longer learning day rich with opportunities. Our deep partnerships with schools put young adults on track to succeed by connecting the resources of communities, companies, governments, and philanthropies. Citizen Schools partners with public middle schools in low-income communities to provide an expanded learning day, rich with opportunities.”
Listed on the Citizen Schools website of investors are Cisco, Google, Fidelity Investment and Walmart.
Additionally, increasing pressure is being placed on public school teachers and administrators through Senate Bill 1094, the Strengthening America Schools Act of 2013 (SASA). This 1200 page regulatory tsunami of a bill takes most powers away from local school systems. SB1094 also continues the war on local schools through forced implementation of Common Core Standards. A longstanding line of defense used by Common Core advocates is that it is voluntary for the states to participate. With the passage of SB 1094, participation and implementation of Common Core Standards will be required of states. This bill puts every single major decision on American education policy in the hands of Washington DC bureaucrats in the U.S. Department of Education.
What’s worse is that local school systems are required to implement all of these new federal mandates and standards in a very short time frame. This means that teachers and local school administrators will be spending more time trying to comply with the federal mandates and less time on actually teaching children. The bill has already been rubber stamped in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and could be voted on in the U.S. Senate at any time. (I could not find information as to whether SB 1094 had passed or not.)
In this March 21, 2013 photo, Steve Stacey, an instructor at Hutchinson, Kan., High School, watches the new robot ‘Nao’ go through a pre programmed dance at the school’s Career and Technical Education Academy. ‘Nao’ was purchased with a grant worth more than $20,000 from Cargill Corporation.Finally, through grants from Cargill, the largest pork manufacturer in the country, two schools in Kansas and Iowa have received checks to purchase the “NAO Aldebaran Robot Teacher” to integrate in their schools. NAO was developed by the French startup company Aldebaran Robotics, which describes the robot as an autonomous and programmable humanoid. Aldebaran says NAO offers students interactive lessons; for example, rather than calculating the velocity of a hypothetical curve ball themselves, students can use NAO’s help to apply the mathematical formula in a computer program.
The company states that it hopes high schools like the ones in Kansas and Iowa will incorporate its robots into their science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula to jump-start interest in these fields, especially among female and minority students.
Korea and Tokyo have been using NAO robots in their schools since 2010. It is not clear what financial or other interest Cargill has in helping place robotic teachers in schools however the biggest cost to any business is human resources. With computers teaching and grading our children the instructors role will be greatly diminished to that of a monitor and moderator.
It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary. You’ve bet your house and where you live and everything on, ‘My child’s going to be prepared.’ That can be a punch in the gut.” — Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education to a group of state school superintendents. November 15, 2013
In every state that is enacting the Common Core Standards there has arisen strong opposition from teachers, administrators, parents and the community leaders. Five states so far have dropped out of Common Core – Nebraska, Alaska, Texas, Virginia, and Minnesota – and now Kansas and Oklahoma are taking measures to drop out. Oklahoma just passed a bill (HB 1989) which would prohibit the sharing of its students’ personal information. And Indiana has recently passed legislation that puts a pause on the implementation of Common Core in the state so that legislators, parents, teachers and school boards can have the time they were denied previously, to actually vet and analyze the Common Core agenda.
We conclude Part II with comments from a teacher and parent with their experiences with Common Core gleaned off the blogosphere:
I teach 8th grade in a Texas school district. I am also required to “teach” to C Scope standards (name for Common Core in Texas). We, my fellow teachers and I, try to put C Scope in as small a box as possible so as to get to material that is truly of educational value. Due to the fact that the test questions are worded so poorly, written in a way that is difficult to understand, and covers C Scope-required materials so closely, we are to the point where we put a packet together that closely resembles the test and teach that packet. I must confess that when I was covering “rhetorical fallacies” during the past three weeks, I, for the first time nearly threw out the materials and told the kids that they should tell their parents that they are being slowly but surely being transformed into like-thinking robots. That’s what this program is–making sure that there is no black and white, just how each person chooses to view something according to their feelings. There is no longer time for reading for pleasure, working on writing skills, or any of the other basic skills these kids need. It’s all C Scope all the time. The stress of this agenda is driving good teachers out of education. Eventually, the only teachers that will be left are the young people who have come through our liberal universities and programmed to carry out this agenda.
I will be in the classroom for four more years, just so I can put my 8th grader into private school. There is NO way I want my child being reeducated according to this socialist agenda.
A Letter to Commissioner King and the New York State Education Department:
“I have played your game for the past two years. As an educator, I have created my teaching portfolio with enough evidence so I can prove that I am doing my job over the course of the school year. I am testing my students on material that they haven’t yet learned in September, and then re-testing them midway through the year, and then again at the end of the year to track and show their growth. Between those tests, I am giving formative assessments. I am taking pictures of myself at community events within my district to prove that I support my school district and the community. I am teaching using the state-generated modules that you have created and assumed would work on all students, despite learning style, learning ability, or native language. I am effectively proving that I am worthy of keeping my job and that my bachelors and masters degrees weren’t for naught. I have adapted, just as all teachers across the state have, because that’s what we do. We might not agree, we might shake our head at the amount of time creative instruction has turned into testing instruction, but we play the game.
When my eight year old boy, who loves to read to his little sister and is excited to go to back to school come July of every summer, calls himself dumb because he is bringing home failing test grades, then this has turned personal. My son isn’t dumb, Commissioner King. He works hard to learn, he writes stories and songs, builds entire football stadiums out of Legos in record time, and he can explain how to divide in his own words. He. Is. Not. Dumb. But when he gets consistently failing grades on the module assessments, what message do you think he’s getting? These module assessments, sir, that have words like ‘boughten’ on them and the children have to infer what ‘boughten’ means. Did you know that boughten is no longer used as a form of the verb to buy? According to the grammarist.com, boughten is as foreign to modern language as the word thou.
“Boughten is an archaic participial inflection of the verb to buy. It was once a fairly common colloquial form—it was used to describe something bought instead of homemade—and it still appears occasionally, but it is widely seen as incorrect and might be considered out of place in formal writing”
So, when my son is faced with answering questions on outdated language, on topics such as a ‘sorrel mare’ and the reading passages take place in foreign war-torn lands, when these children haven’t even mastered the basics of their own country yet, what do expect him to feel like? Do you expect him to feel like he’s just on the road to become college and career ready, which is the basis of the common core, and these challenges will only make him stronger?
No, sir, I’ll tell you what it does. It beats him down. It discourages him. It exhausts him. It makes him dread going to school and then lash out in anger at the nightly homework that is associated with these common core modules. It is turning him off of school and if this trend continues, he will be far from college and career ready because he will want nothing to do with college.
Creating modules that are a scripted nightmare for both the teacher and student is not the answer. You are ruining children. You are killing their spirit. You are making them believe they are dumb because they can’t multiply and divide on the exact day that the module says they should be multiplying and dividing. You are creating a generation of disengaged children who now feel insufficient.
This mom is angry. This educator is pessimistic. This state is in trouble.