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.