Last year we successfully got the Utah State Board of Education to get us out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (a hollow victory). The SBAC is one of 2 federally funded assessment consortia meant to test Common Core students, and through its grant application push states onto Common Core. Utah signed onto SBAC in our Race to the Top application and became one of 17 governing member states. When the state board voted to exit SBAC last year, the state office of education was quite upset. From inside the USOE, we received a tip that they were writing a new Request for Proposal (RFP) for an assessment partner in such a way that only an SBAC partner entity could be chosen for our new assessment partner. We published this on this website and were told that was ridiculous by a couple state board members. In January of 2013, the USOE announced they had selected AIR (American Institutes of Research) as our new assessment partner. AIR is the official partner of SBAC. AIR has a subversive agenda and fits well with the SBAC who is led by Bill Ayers’ friend Linda-Darling Hammond, an advocate for teaching social justice in the classroom, and one who has a very poor track record for success in actual education outcomes. The State Superintendent said of the 13 or so applicants for our assessment program, AIR was the “only organization” that met all our requirements (in spite of the fact that at the legislative hearing in January where this was announced, there was already another computer adaptive test organization being piloted in Utah that was doing the job). The SBAC just released sample Common Core tests online. Here is what you are greeted with when you begin the test. AIR is indistinguishable from SBAC. Utah never left the SBAC except to exit a direct relationship status as a governing consortia member. We encourage you to contact your legislators and tell them to get us out of the SBAC and all its affiliates. Defund the $39 million contract the state office signed us onto.