This will be appropriate for sharing with those you know in all walks of life, as insurance impacts everyone one of us.
Have you wondered just how far reaching Common Core Standards are? I have. Being an avid researcher, I’ve come to know that the Common Core Standards are in places most folks don’t realize. Part of the mission I’m on is to help shine light on those dark corners where CCS is lurking. To date, I’ve been told more than once that I am just trying to find trouble where there is none, I have heard I’m a conspiracy person, a fear monger. I understand how uncomfortable finding out CCS is someplace you never suspected.
In this article, I’ll show you how the US Insurance Industry is ‘knee deep’ in Common Core Standards! Before we begin, please let me state. I understand the following companies and their foundations do complete some tremendous giving back to our communities. However, others have written about the debacle of public, private partnerships in regards to education..especially where CCS is concerned!
Snoopy, say it isn’t so!:
While we have grown to love Snoopy in his Peanuts role, it’s sad to see the company who chose him as their mascot, has ‘gone to the dogs’ instead of helping Snoopy stay atop his doghouse! While I cannot find the same information out about each of the following companies, I will lay out enough you can grasp the stake these companies have in education and its reform, or in some cases, its total makeover.
From MetLife’s website, they feature the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Policy Brief, 2011 “A System Approach to World Class Teaching: Role of Induction.” Almost all states have responded to the urgency to increase educational outcomes by adopting the common core state standards, which are internationally quality content to all students. If the dominant teacher workforce policies and practices remain unchanged, then the aspirations of the common core standards will simply continue a legacy of unfulfilled reforms.’ The rest of the report sounds pretty grim, but you can decide for yourself.
From a partnership with Achieve, MetLife had this updated 2013 CCS brief, “Implementing the CCS: Role of the Elementary School Leader” For most building leaders and counselors, the CCSS lay out a new set of expectations that are more cognitively demanding. The adoption of these standards means that all, not just some, students should be on the pathway to college and career readiness. Such a pathway has never been more critical to students for their personal success, success as citizens in a representative democracy and economic success.”
There are many other ‘Student Success’ briefs on the MetLife Foundation’s page, However, have you noticed a theme yet? “Ensure the nation’s economic and social well-being”, “success as citizens…economic success”. That’s a tremendous amount of pressure to lay on a student, but notice the tremendous amount of pressure for the teachers. How will this help anyone become prepared for more than tremendous performance anxiety?!
MetLife also spends about $530 million in grants. Education is a big recipient. They partner with the NASSP (National Association of State School Principals) The NASSP is so devoted to the CCS, they have an entire page of webinars devoted to the Standards…and their partner (besides MetLife) is College Board! College Board is headed up by David Coleman, one of the main writers of the CCS. Oh, also in partnership with the Principals are Minnesota Life Insurance and Prudential Insurance.
Prudential…a chip off the old block:
The thing that’s funny (well, not too funny) about companies with a tremendous amount of money to give, is they like to be seen giving it. Case in point, Prudential Life Insurance, Financial Group gives more than $25 billion annually, according to the Diversity, Inc. award ceremony from the 2011 Top Company for Community Development. When you watch the video, what the CEO of Prudential says in his speech is nice, but it’s the presenter you want to pay special attention to as she lists off the facts about Prudential’s education/work force investments.
Okay, that may not be so exciting to you, however, consider this, Prudential Financial is partner to the NEA (as is the National Educators Association)! The partnership is at least 30 years old, but don’t take my word, read theirs: ‘Prudential’s involvement in public education is at least thirty years old. It has grown from a fragmented approach to giving to a consolidated, leveraged effort aimed at creating systemic change in public education. Our goal is to provide a level playing field for all children by creating equal opportunities for them to learn and achieve. Our expectation is that equity of educational opportunity will give all children a chance to lead productive adult lives.’ See the rest here. Did you notice the names of some of the other partners?!
Prudential also help found the Business Coalition for Excellence in Education. That group helped lobby for NCLB (No Child Left Behind) see the brief here. BCEE was designed in conjunction with the NJ Dept of Education to help turn their schools around. Currently the program’s website is titled “Just for Kids”, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal article “Program Launched to Improve NJ Schools” However, click the “Just4Kids” link and you are re-directed to: The National Center for Educational Achievement. Look there and you’ll see ACT, another Common Core Standards ‘offspring’.Wait…you didn’t see ACT & Common Core mentioned together? Here it is: Common Core State Standards.
Before we leave Prudential, know that their commitment isn’t just to traditional K-12 education. There’s workforce training too! Well, what does workforce training have to do with Common Core Standards? Plenty! It’s the adult version of the Standards! Also known as CTE (Career & Technical Education). Relax, it’s covered under the Workforce Initiative legislation.(state levels and federal levels). Prudential has it covered with their involvement with the “National Fund.”
Cigna, the Tree of Life?:
Our next big insurance company has a ‘tree of life’ logo. However, it is not for me to judge how accurate that is when it comes to Common Core Standards.
Before we look at their tie to the Standards, you might find it interesting that this company has a consolidated revenue of over $32 billion according to their 2013 Annual Report. They have a grand 50 years of community involvement and are currently in the throes of the “Go Deep (increasing their presence in our lives), Go Global (seeks to deliver), Go Individual (create a deeper understanding)”strategy. In practical terms, they give $450,000 in grants to schools. Mainly through “ChildObesity180”. They like some other worthy organizations as well. However, keeping our focus on Common Core..
Cigna has partnered with Samsung. Which means massive data collection. It also means working with Verizon and the “Classroom of the Future” Oh goody..more ‘college career readiness’! As far as the student data collection, Chromebooks will do it for you! (see the Center for Digital Learning’s brief: http://www.centerdigitaled.com/video/Samsung-Chromebooks-Help-Schools-Achieve-1-to-1-Objectives.html) If you think data mining isn’t a big deal to a company like Samsung, consider the Rutgers University research paper devoted to mobile phone data mining. Of the 6 writers, 5 were from Samsung. If they can do this much with a phone, think what happens with assessments, standardized tests! (reference to research paper)
Note: if you do much looking into Common Core Standards, it won’t be long until you notice “Rutgers University” keeps showing up. Sometimes in big ways, other times, not so much. Why? Excellent question!! They are a nationally recognized research university.
Free & clear?! What if my insurance company isn’t listed above?:
Being a smart & savvy person, know that just because your insurance company is NOT listed above, it isn’t tied to Common Core. IF it is a member of the Business Roundtable, it supports Common Core Standards! IF your company is a Chamber of Commerce member, they support Common Core Standards! Why would you trust this? According to the Business Roundtable’s website, there’s an entire page devoted to their commitment to the Core.
As far as those Chambers of Commerce? Check out this article. US Chamber of Commerce Common Core’s commitment is directly funded by the Gates Foundation. What can you do?! Advocate for a non Common Core Standard School. Don’t buy into the false argument that it’s ‘just standards’. Too much evidence is out there to disprove that! (start with Common Core.org) Continue to help inform others, including your local and state level school authorities. Help raise awareness that federal over-reach into education is illegal! Know that Common Core Standards disrespect learners who are different, learners who are not in the traditional public school model. The Standards encompass post secondary education, regardless of public or private funding. Need links or references? Email me & I’ll be happy to help!