All posts by JaKell Sullivan

SAGE Tests Are a Red Herring

Ed. Note: JaKell Sullivan has put together an amazing document helping connect many of the dots between the big players involved in designing a national education system. One of the most important facts below is the Gordon Commission’s report stating that Common Core and its associated assessments are helping challenge the “deeply held belief in local control” of education. Thank you JaKell.

There are three parts to this document. The first is not too long and contains a summary, the second section goes deeper into more resources, and the third are links to other resources.

Utah’s Common Core Tests Are Entering the Next Federal Phase: Stealth, Embedded Assessment

Here’s what every parent should know RIGHT NOW about why you should Opt-Out of Common Core Tests AND aligned-online learning programs!

While Opt-Out of Common Core Testing campaigns are underway all around the country (and ought to be broadly supported by parents in a free society), Common Core’s testing “pilot” is coming to a close. The Federal objective was to use the pilot period of their Race to the Top Assessments Program to gather data on children, schools and districts and to train states on new technology systems—and set them up (and, yes, it was a real set-up) for what’s to come.

Now, Utah is ready to embrace the Next Generation of Assessments. Utah’s legislature is set to pass a bill this session to create a task force to get Utah out of SAGE testing, and a resolution to move us toward the fruition of the federal end-game.

What’s the federal end-game? It’s to get all states—and most importantly, all children in PK-12—using stealth, embedded assessments. These assessments are seamlessly woven into the fabric of the learning environment and are invisible to the user. Gaming companies have been using stealth assessment for quite some time, but they are relatively new to the PK-12 arena, and are now being federally funded.

Parents might ask, “What’s wrong with getting rid of high-stakes tests and using stealth embedded assessments that won’t stress my children out?”

The problem is that the federal government has colluded with global organizations who now have the power to, not only track untold amounts of data (personal information) on your children, but to use that data to control what and how your children learn through “personalized” learning platforms. And, the Feds want to assess much more than “did Johnny know how to add 2+2.” They want to measure what they call 21st Century competencies created by major multinational information technology corporations. These competencies include things like: environmental literacy (ie; does your child have the skills to understand that humans are causing climate change and that we need to solve this “real world” problem through population control?) and global citizenship (ie; does your child have the skills necessary to embrace global citizenship?). If you think this is a stretch, you haven’t gone to the Gates Foundation website lately, or heard him saying this to Germany’s largest newspaper last month, “We need a world government.”

So, what is the Federal Government doing with Bill Gates?

On May 12, 2012, IMS Global Learning Consortium and the SIF Association (the two leading organizations that create industry standards for technology) answered the U.S. Department of Education’s call to support the federal Race to the Top Assessment Program. The two organizations issued a Press Release which announced that they had created the “First Version of the Assessment Interoperabiity Framework” to Expand U.S. Collaboration in interoperable assessments—globally.

IMS Global announced, “IMS is very pleased that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting acceleration of the open architecture for educational innovation that over 270 IMS member organizations around the world have made viable,” said Dr. Rob Abel, Chief Executive of IMS Global. “Achieving 1-click, data-rich connectivity of educational tools, content and apps with institutional systems is a game-changer that is now closer to reality via this grant and the anticipated ongoing collaboration with the [Gates] Foundation.”

When IMS Global says they are working with Gates to achieve “1-click, data-rich connectivity”, it means that they are about to use your child’s student ID like a social security number on steroids. As one friend who’s studied the data-gathering propensities of the federal government put it, “Imagine if anytime you used the internet you could be tracked by a number that not only was linked to your personal identity, but 100s of data points about you. And that most of that information was available to any website that agreed to use the same development standards.”

As mentioned above, 270 IMS member organizations around the world have already agreed to use the federal industry standards, and that number is quickly growing. What tech group, or nation, wants to be left out of the “new economy” being created by Bill Gates?

And, Utah wanted in on the action so much that they were part of the industry standard pilot! IMS Global announced, “To develop an industry standard for accessibility and interoperability of test items, [the] U.S. Department of Education helped fund the “Accessible Portable Item Profile” project. The Minnesota Department of Education led the effort, which included the states: New Hampshire, Vermont, Utah, Montana, Florida, South Carolina, and Maryland as participants and Michigan, Massachusetts, and North Carolina as observers.” APIP “allows for the transfer of assessment content between vendors.”

Question: Do parents have the fundamental right to know where their children’s curriculum and test questions are coming from? Do parents have the fundamental right to know that Utah is ready to help the federal government track our children into workforce tracks like socialized countries? Think the idea of workforce tracks being used in America is ludicrous?…see the Federal/Gates Learning Registries information below in the “more” section.

In May 2012, IMS Global and the SIF Association said that, as they had helped the federally funded SBAC and PARCC fulfill their federal interoperability requirements, they were helping to move states away from outmoded assessments and stood ready to “personalize instruction and leverage centralized professional development resources.”

From information I obtained, the Utah State Office of Education and other stakeholders were invited on a conference call with the Reform Support Network (a U.S. Department of Education network created to “help” states support all the reforms associated with Common Core standards) on Feb. 3, 2015 to aid Utah in the transition to stealth assessment. On the call, they were going to: “identify and eliminate assessments that are redundant or that do not contribute to teaching and learning” and to “identify the quality of assessments and move toward a better balance of question types.”

So, just three years after IMS and SIF’s said they were centralizing things, we see that our State Office of Education is coordinating with the Feds in the process of centralization. Learn more about the federal Assessment Interoperability Framework using Common Education Data Standards here.

What this means is that third parties, along with the federal government, can now control everything happening at the local school level as it pertains to learning—children’s learning and teachers’ learning. And, use that control to enforce almost any other federal reform or learning “intervention” required for children to be college and career ready.

Question: “Why do school districts, schools, teachers and parents, in a free society, willingly allow third parties to collect information about them and then tell them how to behave in order to meet federal mandates?” Doesn’t it appear that we are selling our children into a life of servitude and bondage all because we are unwilling to be self-reliant?

There is MUCH MORE to this article. For those that want to read it, see below. But, for now, suffice it to say, that the Feds have us right where they want us.

Utah parents DO NOT WANT SAGE, and we DO NOT WANT big-data-gathering-tech-companies, being funded by Bill Gates and the Feds, to replace (or morph) SAGE with real-time, adaptable assessments in learning technology. In order to preserve parental rights, parents should demand that our children’s tests be designed and controlled at the school and district level, so that tests are fully transparent to parents. After all, aren’t WE the consumers of educational services in this country? Aren’t we the sole stewards of our children? And, are we accountable to Government or to God in fulfillment of that stewardship?

STOP Utah’s legislature from creating a Task Force to further grow K-12 stealth assessments. (Contact your legislators and Task Force Sponsor Senator Howard Stephenson in DROVES and tell them “WE DO NOT WANT THIS FEDERALLY-MOTIVATED TASK FORCE IN UTAH!”

STEPHENSON’S EMAIL: / PHONE: 801-572-1038)


STOP Utah’s legislature from supporting a resolution to use K-12 stealth assessments. (Contact Utah’s House members and Resolution Sponsor Rep. Marie Poulson in DROVES and tell them “WE DO NOT WANT stealth assessments in Utah’s K-12 ed system without parental disclosure and opt-in requirements!”

POULSON’S EMAIL: / PHONE: 801-942-5390


STAND for parental rights!

STAND for our children and our children’s children!

STAND so that your posterity will know that you loved them with all your heart!


UACC Opt Out


Stealth learning platforms and assessments (platforms and assessments that operate in real-time within the technology without a child knowing it) foster an education system where parents will have very little control over what our children learn and what they are tested on. Meta-data can be tracked through every key stroke, as well as facial expressions and behaviors through computer cameras, etc. And, the data collected from our children’s learning platforms will be used to control what and how their teachers teach, as well as what federal mandates will be placed on teachers and schools in order to make individual children “college and career ready.” (I used the word “make” because that’s exactly what the Feds are trying to do….force outcomes). The federal mandates will require “Response to Intervention” as well as redistribution of taxes and resources to aid centralization of our education system—and to profit the crony capitalists in bed with big government. (American Institutes for Research (AIR) controls Utah’s SAGE tests and is also in charge of the US Department of Education’s “Response to Intervention” program. So, whether SAGE exists or not, the data AIR collects through learning and assessment platforms will control what schools and teachers have to do to comply with federal mandates.

Here’s some background:

The US Department of Education, with funding funneled through the Education Testing Service, created the Gordon Commission to develop policy guidelines to help state legislatures change their education technology policies to align with Common Core Standards Metadata Requirements’—and to push states toward using stealth assessments.

(see Graphic #1 below)

Two key members of the Gordon Commission are President Obama’s former education policy advisor Linda Darling-Hammond, who was originally responsible for creating content specs for Common Core tests, and former governor Bob Wise. Bob Wise helped found Digital Learning Now with former Governor, and GOP Presidential candidate Jeb Bush. Digital Learning Now is profiting off of federal and state tech reform policies and Utah’s legislature is leading the charge in implementing all 10 of their digital learning policies.

The Gordon Commission published a report that said, “The Common Core Standards, and the rethinking of assessments that they are fostering, provide an opportunity to challenge [the] deeply held belief in local control.” Translation: “Parental rights mean nothing to us. We want to control what your children learn through stealth assessment and we are going to use your tax dollars to do it. Local boards will operate as subsidiaries of the Federal administration and eventually be regionalized so that we can further erode your local tax systems.”

The federal government funded the ConnectEd Initiative to replace textbooks within 5 years and simultaneously, the US Department of Education joined forces with IMS Global Learning Consortium and Bill Gates to fund open-coding specs for technology and learning companies. They used the Race to the Top Assessments program to get most tech and software companies to adopt open-free license coding specs that are interoperable across platforms—some nations have already adopted the specs.

IMS Global’s goal is to “Advance Learning Impact by Enabling the Open Foundation for Seamless, Agile and Information-Rich Educational Technology Integration.” Pearson wrote a Request for Information Response for the US Department of Education regarding which assessment programs the Feds should fund via Race to the Top Assessments (RTTA) to support this “seamless integration.” Their report states, “The RTTA program and state consortia adopting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have identified interoperability as essential in helping to maintain the feasibility and affordability of next-generation assessments.” It should be noted that Pearson plans to take over the United Nation’s PISA tests (tests that compare nations to each other) in 2018.

It should also be noted that the groups over Utah’s testing—American Institutes for Research and Bill Gates’ MeasuredProgress—have both adopted IMS Global’s interoperability specs, see member affiliate list here. (The USOE signed a contract with Bill Gates’ MeasuredProgress in 2009.)

IMS Global talks about a single student login like this:

“Achieving single sign-on and an overall seamless experience for students and teachers is a key foundational step for interoperable assessments across formative and summative environments….The open IMS platform of standards features the Learning Information Services (LIS) standard and Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard, both of which work in tandem with these federated identity solutions to enable single sign-on and reporting relative to specific individuals as required LIS and LTI focus on the data and service exchanges among cooperating learning related systems, such as assessment systems, learning management platforms, student systems, and learning tools.”

Page 37 of IMS Global’s report to the U.S. Department of Education entitled, “IMS Response to Assessment Standards RFI”, shows that they need Common Core standards to facilitate meta-data collection.



IMS Global is piloting an educational GPS system that operates just like the GPS on our phones and in our cars. It’s called EPS (yes, it’s meant to sound like GPS), or Educational Positioning System. IMS Global describes it like this, “As with a GPS system, there must be a way to compare the current position (student progress) with a starting point (past academic accomplishments) and destination (future educational goal).”

They published an online call to tech companies and encouraged them to become part of regional data clusters to begin pooling the data they collect so that it can be further centralized. In the call, they explain that “this EPS concept was put forth by President Obama released an Executive Letter from the Whitehouse which is posted on StudentAlignment or “EPS” Website. The President’s letter is entitled, “Unlocking the Power of Education Data For All Americans” and can be found here. Here is a student review of the EPS System and how it can create a student’s Learning Registry. President Obama’s letter highlights progress being made with the Learning Registry.

What’s the Learning Registry?

IMS Global’s website states, “the IMS Instructional Innovation through Interoperability Leadership Council (I3LC) of school districts and states has recently published a position paper that attempts to put some of the myriad projects and investments made in the last few years in the U.S. by the Gates Foundation into perspective. These initiatives include the Learning Registry (initially funded by the U.S. government, later by Gates), LRMI (Learning Resource Metadata Initiative) and SLC (Shared Learning Collaborative), now InBloom. These projects all share the notion that learning objects or progress can be referenced back to a common set of educational standards, and are generally complimentary, and perhaps even dependent upon success of the Common Core.” [note to reader: Although inBloom is defunct, IMS Global touts what they’ve done right and what inBloom did wrong].

So, lucky Utah, our Governor still thinks Common Core Standards have nothing to do with federal reforms, meanwhile, President Obama and internationalists are clearly using them to create Learning Registries on our children so that they will know what our children are learning and thinking at every step of the way through their education and beyond. Sounds exactly like the system needed to get our children into socialist-style workforce tracks. Ask yourselves again, “Why do Bill Gates’ kids attend a private school that does not use Common Core standards or aligned-assessments?” It seems obvious that we are creating a class system: some families will be workers and their tax dollars will be used to fund the companies of the elites who receive non-standardized educations.

Here’s a graphic from IMS Global about the US government/Gates Learning Registries. LOOK AT ALL THE DATA POINTS THAT CAN BE TIED TOGETHER FROM BIRTH TO WORKFORCE. It creates quite a profile on children and their families.

Click for full size

As mentioned above, Utah is an IMS Global APIP (e-assessment interoperability standard) Leader state:

“APIP: States & Suppliers Collaborating to Revolutionize Assessment”

“APIP has been under evaluation by both SBAC and PARCC since December 2010. The recent SBAC architectural analysis has indicated a key role for APIP. PARCC is currently performing its architectural analysis. The U.S. Department of Education performed an extensive analysis of interoperability standards for assessment in early 2011 that highlighted APIP as a good fit for the needs of RTTA.”

IMS Global lists Utah’s involvement in APIP:

“Q. What efforts have been under taken to build accessibility standards for assessment content?
 Recent technological advances and the growing importance of—and unique demands inherent in— assessment drove efforts to increase the accessibility of test content for all students, illustrated for example by the requirements for the U.S. Federal Department of Education’s (USED) Race to the Top Assessment Program. To develop an industry standard for accessibility and interoperability of test items, USED funded the Accessible Portable Item Protocol (APIP) project. The Minnesota Department of Education led the effort, which included the states: New Hampshire, Vermont, Utah, Montana, Florida, South Carolina, and Maryland as participants and Michigan, Massachusetts, and North Carolina as observers. National interoperability and accessibility experts provided technical support. In December 2010 the team released the first version of the APIP standard, intended to make assessment content portable between systems and accessible to a wide range of students.”

Page 11 and 12 of IMS Global’s Report to the US Department of Education reads:

“The conformance matrix shown at the above URL is also significant because it relates to the critical issue of supporting assessment interoperability throughout an “integrated system of instruction and assessment” which is required to support the balanced assessment requirements of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and achieve the potential of Race to the Top Assessments. In order to achieve use of interoperable assessments throughout formative, summative, and intervention strategies, interoperability must go beyond item and test interoperability. Diverse digital learning content and applications must provide interoperable results reporting that enables a diagnostic student record created from data that comes from a wide range of formative and summative tools. And, interventions must adapt based on the same interoperable data.

The range of interoperability requirements to support the Common Core and the Race to the Top Assessments projects are depicted in the following series of three figures.”

Here are the graphics from Page 11 and 12. It’s clear that there are a myriad of ways that embedded assessments can collect data on our children.



Everything at the local school level will be controlled by third parties and international organizations using stealth assessments to centralize and synthesize data collection (I’ll leave the reader to surmise who).


These global organizations will:

  • Track your children’s metadata through learning and assessment programs


  • Build data profiles on your children from preK-career (and into the workforce)


  • Send real-time feedback to teachers to control what learning “interventions” your child will undergo (making sure those interventions will pad the pockets of those crony companies in bed with the federal government)


  • Make it impossible for parents or local schools to understand who’s controlling the data that parents, teachers and local schools must comply with, and what kind of data is being collected


  • Potentially, and most-likely, push our children towards a globalist mindset where families, parents and individual rights are undermined so that children will support collectivist strategies for solving “real world” problems, ie; global government





Even More Resources:

Pearson admits IMS Global tied to Common Core:


IMS Global Announces Inspiring Action to Transform Education:

“Digital Assessment Transformation: Get the latest on the rapid transition to digital assessment for both summative and formative purposes and the integration of assessment systems and data with learning platforms. ”


Technical working group members of the “Learning Resource Metadata Initiative” (LRMI) include Microsoft, Gates Foundation, IMS Global, and of course, Creative Commons.


IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces Pilot Project Exploring Creative Commons Licensing of Interoperability Specification


Contributing Members, Affiliates, and Alliance Participants include: MeasuredProgress, AIR, ACT, SBAC, Pearson, etc.

MeasuredProgress, AIR, ACT



Efficient and Descriptive Learning Object Metadata: And Essential Component of K12 Instructional Reform:



2015 Leadership Opportunities in IMS Global Learning Consortium:

Here are a few quotes:


” 1-click integration of educational apps. ”


“…syncing student information between SIS systems and learning systems,”


“…better support for assistive technology and serving as an actual rendering format (versus just an interoperability format – which is what QTI is) for the range of devices supported via the web. They are calling this aQTI. Some long time contributors, such as Educational Testing Service, along with some newer IMS Global member organizations, like Dutch Exam Board, Cito, TAO, NWEA and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium are leading the way on all of this.” (So, Stealth assessment was the plan all along)


“…get to the next generation educational content interoperability. In less than one year we went from an exploratory meeting (hosted by Pearson) to an implementable draft specification”


“…defining and authorizing a more robust set of outcomes or achievements beyond grades”




Big Districts Demand Interoperability Standards:



IMS Global’s Learning Analytics:


How AIR wants to use big-data on our children

Watch this video of Julia Lane, Institute Fellow at American Institutes for Research (AIR)—Utah’s testing agent for SAGE tests. The following are excerpts of some of her quotes, with my translations:

“It’s impossible to get informed consent about collecting big-data.”
… (TRANSLATION-“We can’t wait for you, the parent, to understand our need to collect your child’s data. We’ll need to change public policies at the federal and state level without your consent. We can unilaterally do this by lobbying legislators to stomp out your parental rights.”)

“Google knows where you are every single minute of the day”
… (TRANSLATION-“We couldn’t let Google have a monopoly over big-data, so we partnered with them in 2012. Now, we can drill down on what your child is doing and thinking. Luckily, your child will be using Google Chromebooks soon to learn and take SAGE tests. Once we get every child on a one-to-one device, we can continuously assess your child’s skills through the technology without them having to take a formal test—or be at school!”)

“The private sector has been using the data to make a lot of money.”
… (TRANSLATION-“We deserve to make obscene amounts of money, too, by tracking your child’s thinking patterns from PreK to Workforce. Then, we can manipulate their education data to spread the wealth right back into our coffers.”)

“In the public sector, we tend not to use those data.”
… (TRANSLATION-“We don’t see a need to follow ethical rules anymore. Everybody else is collecting big-data. We deserve big-data on your child! Your natural right to direct your child’s learning is getting in the way of US doing it. We deserve to control their learning!”)

“The good that is being lost is incalculably high.”
… (TRANSLATION-“We can’t save your child because you won’t let us track their personal learning. We must be able to track what they think from PreK to Workforce—for the good of the collective.”)

“The rules that exist are no longer clear and are probably no longer applicable.”
… (TRANSLATION-“We don’t think federal or state privacy laws are fair. We will unilaterally decide how Utah’s state policies will be changed so that we can track your child’s personal learning styles, beliefs, and behaviors. It’s for the good of the collective, of course!”)

House Bill 131 Injures Parental Rights and Endangers Taxpayers

An open letter to Utah legislators,

HB 131- Utah’s Public Education Modernization Act seeks to put a mobile device into the hands of every K-12 student. Its price tag is conservatively estimated at $200,000 million. Realistic estimates put it significantly higher and point out that costs will be ongoing.

This bill injures parental rights, harms the parent/child relationship and endangers taxpayers in the following ways:

1. Injures parental rights by disrespecting the parent’s primary role as educator.

a.         HB 131 imposes a one-size-fits-all, technology approach to learning that ignores the diverse approaches to learning that many Utah parent’s value. This injures the parent’s right to choose a different approach for their child.

b.         Utah parents, who do not want their child to have access to devices during the entire school day and to be required to use those devices for nightly homework, are injured by this bill.

c.         Utah parents who believe that historically proven approaches to classical educations are better than encouraging overuse of technology to “fundamentally change the teaching and learning experience” are also injured by this bill. (Quote from ProjectRed—the group pushing the bill.)

d.         Computer adaptive curricula, while appealing, also have the disadvantage of being changed without parental knowledge. Additionally, student-identifiable data collection becomes almost impossible to police.

2. Harms the Parent/Child Relationship by subordinating the parent’s authority

a.         Eliminates the parent’s right to control their child’s technology use

b.         Elevates the school’s technology policies over the parent’s technology policies (if the child violates family policy, the parent cannot take the technology away   when it is required for homework)

c.         Causes contention in families by altering the school/parent relationship. The parent and child serve the school’s needs for control, rather than the school serving the parent and child’s needs for education.

d.         Creates a power struggle between parents who disagree with technology overuse, schools who require it, and children who are tied to it

3. Makes Utah taxpayers beholden to private interests seeking to dismantle local control of resources

a.         ProjectRED is the group behind HB 131 that is seeking to put a mobile device into every child’s hands. There are questions about ProjectRED’s sponsor Intel, Intel’s relationship with IM Flash and IM’s relationship to legislators supporting HB 131. These relationships should be made transparent to Utah taxpayers.

b.         ProjectRED’s CEO Leslie Wilson said, “Regions and districts MUST consolidateto recapture funds to reallocate to ed tech.” This edict benefits ProjectRED, and special interests who jump on the technology bandwagon, NOT Utah taxpayers.

c.         Technology is ever-changing. Costs for broken, lost, stolen, or outdated devices cannot be foreseen. Will parents have to pay for broken, lost or stolen devices? Will taxpayers be on the hook for continued upgrades which will further enrich the private interests pushing these policies?

And, in case those reasons just don’t seem good enough to legislators, let’s identify one more problem with HB 131.

The goal to regionalize local school districts and reallocate state’s funds into technology is part of President Obama’s regional equity movement—the movement to reform education by redistributing wealth.

Here’s a partial history:

President Obama delivered his State of the Union address on January 12, 2013. He touted Phase I and announced Phase 2 of his Blueprint to fundamentally transform America’s education system.

He said, “Four years ago we started Race to the Top to develop smarter curricula and higher standards.” (Common Core Standards – Phase I)

Then, he said, “Tonight, I’m announcing a new challenge to REDESIGN America’s schools so they better equip graduates for a high-tech economy.” (Resource Redistribution – Phase 2)

Utah’s State Board jumped right onto Phase 1’s Common Core, and now Utah’s State Legislature is enacting Phase 2 under the guise of House Bill 131.

The day after the President’s speech, his Equity and Excellence Commission, housed in the US Department of Education, issued a report entitled, For Each and Every Child. It said, “We present a bold new vision of the Federal Role in education….The time has come for the Federal Government to REDESIGN AND REFORM THE FUNDING of our nation’s public schools.”

Many of the players behind this federal push are simply profiteers. Please do not fundamentally alter parental rights and put Utah taxpayers in jeopardy.


JaKell Sullivan

Common Core’s Metric Makes Informational Texts Trump Literature

Common Core Standards’ architect David Coleman, and his group Student Achievement partners, have created a text complexity metric designed to assess the progression of text complexity in student reading.[1]  The goal of this new metric is to elevate informational text above great and proven literary works. Hillsdale College History Professor, Dr. Terrence Moore detailed in his book, “Story-Killers: A Common Sense Case Against the Common Core” how the English language arts are being destroyed by this new metric which calls for “range” in texts.[2] “Range”, as Dr. Moore identifies, is code for requiring modern day, unproven and politically biased authors to be read in accelerated rates as compared to great and proven literary authors. Dr. Moore points out that this flawed Common Core reading metric actually calls for the Grapes of Wrath to be read in SECOND GRADE!!!, while a George Clooney article would be considered a “complex text” to be read in 11th grade.

In Appendix A of the Common Core Standards we find that seven reading metric companies participated in a Student Achievement Partners’ study which helped them all align their metrics to the guidelines of the Common Core creators. Page 4 of Appendix A reads, “Each of the measures has realigned its ranges to match the Standards’ text complexity grade bands and has adjusted upward its trajectory of reading comprehension development through the grades to indicate that all students should be reading at the college and career readiness level by no later than the end of high school.”

Do English teachers need a metric aligned to Common Core (which apparently most reading metric tools now are) in order to understand at what levels their students are in reading? Utah’s HB 417 assumes that they do.[3]

Utah’s HB 417 wants to spend $1 million Utah tax dollars to provide a new technology tool that will use the Common Core aligned Lexile reading metric for assessing English standards. The bill calls for the State Board, on or before July 1, 2014, to select one or more technology providers, through a request for proposals process, to provide licenses for a tool for students in grades 4-12.

HB 417  “enables student reading ability to be reported as a Lexile measure; uses Lexile measures to match reading materials and exercises to the comprehension level of readers.

Is it any coincidence that MetaMetrics, the company that created the Lexile Framework for Reading received a 3-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation?[4]

Or, that Student Achievement Partners is mostly funded by Gates?[5]

Is it any coincidence that Utah’s State School Board is being directed to use a Lexile provider for English Language Arts? What company will Utah choose?

It doesn’t really matter. They’re all the same. And, as more and more bills in Utah’s legislature are simply fulfilling the Obama administration’s goals for centralizing curriculum and data collection, we are losing all autonomy and agency in teaching and learning….


Additional points to consider regarding David Coleman and his role in centralizing data collection in America’s education system:

• He worked with McKinsey & Co.—the international, “big data” powerhouse—which plans to acquire and then merge SBAC and PARCC, the two federally funded testing groups for Common Core, in 2014. (Utah’s testing agent, American Institutes for Research is partnered with SBAC and plans to eventually use SBAC’s test items).

• His New York based data company, the Grow Network, was paid a $2.2 million contract to produce data studies for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). The Grow Network’s objective was to “produce data to tell parents and teachers what test scores mean.” At that time, President Obama (then Senator Obama) was sitting on the CAC Board which paid for the contract and US Secretary of Education, Arne Ducan was Chicago’s State Superintendent.

• He was hired to be the architect of Common Core Standards

• His group, Student Achievement Partners managed to change all independent reading metrics to the requirements of the Common Core. One of those is Lexile—required in Utah’s House Bill 417. At this link, Lexile explains how they “integrated their measures into Obama’s Race to the Top Assessment Program application.”

• He was appointed to be the new head of the College Board. The College Board has shifted its mission—they are now desiging curriculum and  curriculum frameworks and hiring Obama campaign data experts to decide who gets to attend college by accessing massive amounts of student data through curriculum platforms and tests. The GED, PSAT, AP Tests, SAT & ACT are all being aligned to Common Core.

• See “College Board’s Curricular Coup” – A Nine-Part Series on how David Coleman and the College Board are dismantling the idea of American exceptionalism in America’s curricula and tests.

Where is Utah Bound to Common Core’s Federal Reforms?

1)  The Four Assurances (or federal reforms) in the 2009 Stimulus Package’s State Fiscal Stabilization Fund—which included common standards, new assessments, teacher evaluations, school grading and data collection systems—signed by Governor Huntsman. The “assurances” were promises that Governors made to the Obama administration when they accepted Stimulus money. The Stimulus money helped President Obama build a new federal framework at the state level to, as US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “fundamentally shift the federal role” over education.

See also: The federal grant from the 2009 Stimulus Package for the creation of Utah’s State Longitudinal Data System (This was a $9.6 million dollar grant to Utah to create a data system which would provide a framework for the Obama administration’s National Education Data Model. In order to start collecting individual student and family data without parental consent—including things like bus stop times, health conditions and religious affiliation—the Obama administration bypassed Congress and rewrote federal FERPA privacy regulations).

2) The 2009 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by Governor Huntsman and State Superintendent Patti Harrington, where they committed Utah to Common Core national standards.

3) The No Child Left Behind Flexibility Request (Waiver) in which the MOU was used as “evidence” that Utah, in exchange for flexibility from the stipulations in No Child Left Behind, would adopt Common Core.

4) The Common Core standards copyright binds states to precisely what is written in the standards. States can add 15% more to the standards, but cannot take anything away from them. They are adopted “in whole.”

5) The fact that the K-12 assessments aligned to Common Core will be used by 90% of the states will preclude states deviating from the standards. We are bound by the sheer nature of national standards themselves–and this was by design. To deviate from the standards by even 5% would put states at a comparative disadvantage.