Many Alaskans may not be familiar with an organization named Achieve, Inc. but it has been the primary driver in the implementation of Barack Obama’s educational agenda. It is an organization that enshrines the mojo of William Ayers and specializes in the implementation of the common core standards and facilitates the entry of states into one of two consortia: Partnership for Assessing College and Career Readiness (PARCC) or Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). William Ayers is a long time friend ofLinda Darling Hammond, the Senior Adviser of SBAC. Therefore, it would hardly be surprising that the use of educational consulting firm that enshrines William Ayer’s mojo would then facilitate the writing of a state’s educational standards would result in a state becoming a member of a consortium headed by Linda Darling Hammond.
That is exactly what happened in Alaska.
The Alaska Department of Education continues to insist that the state of Alaska wrote its own educational standards and that they are “Alaska owned” and “Alaska made” and “cutting edge stuff.” The information submitted by the state of Alaska for funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) clearly conflicts with that narrative. The ESEA Flexibility document is a tedious compendium of nearly 1,000 pages and is hardly a New York Times best seller; on a summer day in Alaska, it is hardly a choice reading. But as you read the actual document, rather than AK DEED’s cherry picked power point about the document, the truth of the matter emerges.
Of course, you have to get to the appendix attachment 5 of the actual document to find it out. This is a stark contrast to Dr. McCauley laughing at Rep. Wilson’s questions on the Common Core at the 8:11 mark here. The nervous laughter by Dr. McCauley is generally an indication to dig deeper.
The narrative that these standards are “Alaska’s Standards” and they were “written by Alaska teachers” was the marketing ploy decided upon early on by AK DEED. It was part of the plan laid out by Achieve, Inc with Commissioner Hanley. This blog will bear that out.
Photo credit: lloyd89 (Creative Commons)