Two reformer schemes you must understand

The education reform movement is big business. There are those around the country who are touted for their accomplishments in raising educational performance by things they have done. Among the reformers, Jeb Bush had some success with a school grading system which caused schools to put greater effort into raising standardized test scores. Seeing some success, Utah legislators passed a school grading scheme for use in Utah.

Another reform is that of computer adaptive testing (CAT) which was adopted in Utah a couple years ago in order to help show where students are deficient or advanced in their understanding of concepts. Initially I supported this because I thought this would finally show schools using real math would trounce schools using fuzzy math. After this was adopted, I learned that Common Core was going to require CATs. That was a huge red flag as I realized CATs were going to be hijacked and used as a compliance mechanism for Common Core.

So in spite of the fact that these ideas may have had some merit to begin with, the bottom line is, the Common Core assessments will now control teacher evaluations, school grading, and thus curriculum. Any idea behind these that might have been thought useful under one set of circumstances has been hijacked.

Where some positive outcome was seen in implementing computer adaptive testing, as well as a school grading system, both became requirements under Common Core and will now be enforced via the AIR/SAGE assessment system that our children are subject to under Common Core. This means that one test, largely under control by 2 federally funded consortia (PARCC and SBAC), with a review panel by the federal government, now controls how schools are graded, how teachers are assessed (and even transferred between schools to ensure fair distribution of ‘quality’ teachers), how students are assessed as “college and career ready”, and directly leads to the curriculum choices in the classroom so teachers and schools will optimize for success on the test. To anyone without their head in the sand, this is a clear federal takeover of education.

Here are two must read posts. The first is by Alpine School District member Wendy Hart where she calls for us to join a rally on Tuesday morning at the USBA (bring signs like “No School Grading tied to Common Core”. The second is a post she references by Autumn Cook about the new accountability system.

http://wendy4asd.blogspot.com/2013/08/no-man-can-serve-two-masters-school.html

http://alpineparentsociety.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/august-13-2013-board-study-session/

3 thoughts on “Two reformer schemes you must understand”

  1. I’m glad to see that parents are catching on to the real Trojan Horse in education that I have been screaming about now for 9 months: The Test.

    He who controls the test, controls the world.

    It’s that simple.

    While we are all making waves about standards, and inappropriate books in public school libraries, USOE is laughing behind closed doors. While these concerns are important, they pale in comparison to the mind blowing power and control that has been given to USOE and AIR research corporation in regards to our kids futures.

    All with no data. All with no pilot testing. All without independent review of AIR.

    All for the price of $39,000,000.00 of your tax money.

    I caught them with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. Their response was in essence, “so what?”, and USOE and Utah parents just went along their merry way.

    He who controls the test, controls the world.

    If u think that “one size fits all standards, curriculum and teaching are bad, you have not seen the tip of the iceberg of damage that will be done with a non-validated, one size fits all, private achievement test.

    There is nothing further that I can do at this point. I am at peace knowing that I have fulfilled my ethical duty to warn as a local clinical community scientist and advocate for our children….as well as my own daughters.

    The ball is now in your court.

    Don’t drink the Kool Aid….my kids certainly will not.

  2. “The tip of the iceberg.” This merits repetition, as I have been thinking about this phrase myself for the past few days. The recent bill that links testing with grading, the complacency of administrators, the many players on the internet that are “posted” by the administration to deliberately discredit anyone when they come close. There are three points: 1 the government now acts as a dictatorship rather than a democracy; that bypasses congress and creates legislation from the White House through backdoor approaches. 2. The Common Core is curriculum, testing, and mandates that are unlawful and repeal-able. 3. People are in the dark as to the nature, purpose, intent, and outcome of the Common Core. They expect it is the same government and thus a little intrusive policy is still democratic policy. But the outcome is far worse than any could have dreamed would happen in their lifetime. Talk show hosts are afraid to spell it out, but I am not. The outcome is the collapse of freedom and democracy.
    Sinhue Noriega teacher and author of “If It’s Broken Don’t Fix it” A Candid Look at Our Complacent Education System. Find out what they don’t want you to know. The truth about the Common Core, and the education system, from the inside by a teacher. http://www.repealthecommoncore.com

  3. Bill Gates is behind much of this, along with ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Bill Gates was a main contributor of ALEC until forced to dropped support for the group after a spate of negative publicity. Unfortunately, PCE (Parents for Choice in Education) is championed by ALEC and they continue to push harmonious ALEC and Gates Foundation agendas. It is quite a tangled web, but as of now, the same corporations who buy our politicians are trying to get their hands on the tax dollars that go towards our schools.

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