Assessments

Federal control of assessments

Early on in this fight we pointed out that the federal government was funding $350 million to 2 assessment/testing consortia, the SBAC, and PARCC. We said that since they are receiving federal funds, it would allow the feds to possibly receive information that they shouldn’t have access to. In Utah we fought to get us out of the SBAC for several reasons such as it being led by social justice advocate Linda-Darling Hammond. We didn’t want propagandizing math problems on tests, but we were ridiculed for suggesting such a silly thing because Utahns would never have that appear on materials our children receive.

<cough>Granite & Jordan school districts</cough>

Today we learn from the Missouri Education Watchdog website that this week the SBAC met with State Chiefs to discuss some financial issues. Odd that an entity that received so much money from the feds is having financial issues… ;)

Having identified financial problems at the SBAC, they have now determined to “identify areas of commonality with the other assessment consortia, PARCC, and see if the two groups can share a consultant on those common points. It is not a stretch to see that these two groups are probably going to have to combine in the future in order to remain sustainable. Then we will truly have national standards.” (link)

Missouri Education Watchdog is exactly right. Combining the 2 mega assessment consortia will result in a singular national exam that will be what nearly every teacher in the country teaches to. Consolidation will lead to a single curriculum and the rush to grade teachers based on their classroom performance will kill innovation as they all standardize to cover the same material on the same day for the same test.

When States do their RFP’s for assessments they should not accept any bid from SBAC or PARCC related entities and affiliates.

 

SBAC Cooperative Agreement Proves Nationalization

Here’s one comment that has been submitted to the USOE during this week’s comment period.

Click to open: SBAC Cooperative Agreement PDF

I was looking at the cooperative agreement of the SBAC which Washington is the “recipient” and Utah is considered a “sub-recipient” dated January 7th, 2011.  In this contract, ED represents the US Office of Education.  This contract from what I understand, is the agreement we have as a sub recipient with the federal government as we develop the assessments with the SBAC.

Is Common Core truly state led and do we have full control?  The federal government states clearly in this contract what we are required to do.  With this criteria, why did we sign such a contract and say we will have control?

On page 2 it states our responsibilities including we will have to give status updates, report our effort, deliver written reports and student data to the U.S. Dept of Education.

On page 3 it clearly states the “federal responsibilities”.

On page 9 it states: “the Grantee is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of grant and sub-recipient-supported tasks and activities. This includes: 1) The Grantee and its sub-recipients actively participating in all relevant convenings, communities of practice, trainings, or other activities that are organized or sponsored by the State or by ED. ”

On page 10 it states clearly our cooperation with the federal government: “This supplement is awarded to support the consortium and its participating States efforts successfully transition to common standards and assessments. ”  It also states, “The Grantee must provide timely and complete access to any and all data collected at the State level to ED.”

On page 7 it states the failure to comply clause, “Failure to comply with the content of this agreement may result in the Secretary imposing special conditions on the award pursuant to EDGAR §80.12 or taking other enforcement actions, including partly suspending or terminating the award, pursuant to EDGAR §80.43

Question: What are “the other enforcement actions” should we not be able to fulfill our part of the bargain? Will we have to pay back the amount utilized on our behalf to create CC if our efforts are not “good” enough?

Thank you for addressing my concerns.

Random Quote

“I believe that the school is primarily a social institution. Education being a social process, the school is simply that form of community life in which all those agencies are concentrated that will be most effective in bringing the child to share in the inherited resources of the race, and to use his own powers for social ends. I believe that education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.” — John Dewey, My Pedagogic Creed, January 1897

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