PARCC Chief: “This is not a testing agenda; it’s a equity agenda.”

PARCC Chief Laura Slover’s rhetoric at the Colorado Association of School Executive’s Same Speed CCannual summer meeting was stunning.

First, she believes these tests as ‘beautiful tools’ then she goes on an tear about equity and then says they are ‘game changers’. I think Ms. Slover needs a reality check.  This is a very unpopular standardized test. Statements like these are not image improvers.

Excerpt from Chalkbeat with emphasis added:

“I think they’re really beautiful tools, but they’re just tests,” the CEO of the PARCC testing group told Colorado school administrators Friday. “The really important thing is what happens in the classroom every day,”

Laura Slover acknowledged rising criticism of standardized tests but said, “This is not a testing agenda; it’s a equity agenda.”

Slover spoke to the closing session of the Colorado Association of School Executive’s annual summer meeting in Breckenridge, which drew more than 1,000 administrators and others.

Calling the PARCC language arts and math tests “a huge game changer,” Slover said, “This is a quality test. It’s better than anything else out there on the market.”

Better than anything else out there? When you have SBAC and Pearson to choose from, that is not saying much. What’s scary about this Slover’s statements is that she has Colorado’s Superintendent nodding his head:

Dan Snowberger, Durango superintendent, said the old state-only standards “created an un-level playing field” and cautioned, “If we think the new standards are about tweaking what we do, we’ve missed the mark.”

Snowberger also said, “My fear is that there will be this groundswell of anti-Common Core and that some educators will get on board with that.” – Chalkbeat

You got that? A standardized test is going to ‘level the playing field’. Is Superintendent Snowberger partaking of the legalized pot in Colorado?

 

Related Read:  The myth of Common Core equity

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Scotland Cty Board of Ed Confused On Common Core

The Scotland County Board of Education is confused on Common Core. They seem to think it’s a great idea and that the repeal of it is a bad idea.   The following excerpts come from The Laurinburg Exchange’s article, School board decries state’s decision to repeal Common Core.

Scotland County’s Board seem more worried about the monkeying they are doing with test scores than with the fact Common Core is a fundamentally flawed experiment being performed on our kids. Here’s Board member Jamie Sutherland expressing his test angst:

“The problem we have is that we’re renorming all of these scores and it looks like we’re doing terribly in the schools because our scores are way down and now we’re going to do it again,” said board member Jamie Sutherland. “Something’s got to stay for an extended period of time to allow us to educate and to be able to show growth.”

Well, Board member Paul Rush can top that one. He blames not learning the “intricacies” of Common Core. I can solved this mystery for him: NO ONE WAS EDUCATED ABOUT COMMON CORE.

“The problem with Common Core from my standpoint is that we hadn’t been educated in the intricacies of Common Core,” he said. “It really got shoved – we heard it was coming and had a little bit of information here and there but really as a board never … that’s part of the problem I have with it, I don’t know if it’s good, bad, or indifferent.”

The Scotland County School Board also think Common Core is a curriculum. Pay no mind for the last 4 years we’ve been hammered by Core supporters that Common Core is a set of standards, NOT a curriculum. Jeez, didn’t they get the talking points?

“The intent of Common Core was wonderful because the curriculum that we had in the beginning was too much and there was no way you could teach it all,” said Hargrave.” You could take 20 years teaching the entire curriculum and still not have it all taught. The intent with Common Core was to pare it down and teach those things that were essential for kids.”

We’ve seen the line before — ‘but, but.. we spent so much money on training’.
That’s like saying ‘I don’t know enough about this alligator biting my leg in the water, I should keep it there because well, I’ve come this far!’  Let me amend that talking point for the Core faithful out there —  ‘but..but.. we wasted so much  money on training’.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Instruction can’t tell anyone the who, what and how much of said Common Core training.  In that same vein, Sutherland apparently wants to throw more good money after bad. Maybe he can tell us exactly how much in state dollars they spent on Common Core training and for what personnel?

“From the local level we spent a lot of money to educate our staff. I mean we changed how we went to school last year so we could do all our education on the front side of that and now we’re going to go back and change again.” (Jamie Sutherland)

Perhaps he should have done his close reading before accepting the flawed and experimental Common Core in the first place, then he would be crying in his budget ledger.

Posted in Common Core, LadyLiberty1885, Media Bias, The Articles, Useful Idiot | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ask Dr. Atkinson: Why Has NC Not Withdrawn From The SBAC?

North Carolina has repealed Common Core from its state statutes.
A replacement commission is about to be named and get to work.

AtkinsonPresElectHere’s the next question that the Legislature will have to address:
 
Why is NC still a member of the Common Core tied Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)?
 
Ask State Superintendent and CCSSO President Elect, Dr. Atkinson, why.
Here’s the responses one citizen received (below).  Ask the question. See what kind of answer you get.

 

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More About “Project RED” And NC Ties

PearsonThis past week, we posted a guest article called “Do You Know RED?” which went into detail about the Pearson Foundation project. In it, there was mention of Superintendent Edwards, from Mooresville.

 

This entry is a little more detail on Mr. Mark Edwards to add to the prior story. A reader who read “Do You Know RED” reached out to me and provided some more information. Below is what they sent to me and it is interesting – Mr. Edwards has extensive Pearson ties.

Quick reminder, Mr. Edwards has a really nice contract loaded with perks paid for by the NC taxpayers. Read the entire contract here.

Below are their comments to me, unedited except for formatting to suit the blog set-up. Follow the links provided, they are illuminating. The last one in the list especially which highlights his Vice Presidency at a testing company and his book had a forward in it from Common Core pushing Jeb Bush.



 

There is more to the story regarding Pearson and self proclaimed “digital expert” Mark Edwards.

1. MGSD Superintendent Mark Edwards wrote a book, which was published by Pearson. Does he receive any money for this? Would be interesting to know. http://www.pearsonhighered.com/educator/product/Every-Child-Every-Day-A-Digital-Conversion-Model-for-Student-Achievement/9780132927093.page

More here on Edwards and Pearson http://susanohanian.org/core.php?id=696

 2. Edwards goes all over the country promoting this blended learning garbage. Who pays for this and how much is he being paid to give keynote speeches all over the US?

3. Prior to coming to MGSD, Edwards worked for Harcourt Assessment. On May 4, 2007, Pearson announced that it had agreed to acquire Harcourt Assessment .

4. Edwards is pushing a large school bond referendum here in Iredell County. See more here: http://www.statesville.com/news/split-vote-on-bonds-hinged-on-inequity-of-funding/article_a1ce25e4-f767-11e3-93b4-001a4bcf6878.html

5. “Edwards, whose daily routine includes readings from the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, insists his work is more about love and respect than Apples and apps.”  Really? http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/03/15/3917004/mooresvilles-mark-edwards-named.html

 

 

 

 

Posted in Common Core, Crony Capitalism, LadyLiberty1885, Random Musings | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Education and Workforce Innovation Commission

Is education about learning or is it about a workforce? Maybe a bit of both. With Common Core, it’s all about setting up kids to be piled into one profession or another based on data collected on them.

Governor McCrory signed the Common Core repeal bill for North Carolina, but seemed nonplussed. His comments on the matter, prior to signing, seemed to indicate a possible rebrand attempt would take place. Or maybe he’s got his own Core-like program set up: The Education and Workforce Innovation Commission.

This commission is in our state statutes “115C-64.15. This commission was created via the General Assembly. It looks like  HB 902 was a first attempt and the first line of the bill reads as follows and gets progressively public/private partnership laden:

“The Education and Workforce Innovation Act will accelerate progress toward high academic rigor and skills development with the goal of graduating every student both college and career ready.”

 

Here is what JDnews reported about it in March 2014:

Governor Pat McCrory congratulated this year’s recipients of the Education and Workforce grants. The program is aimed at strengthening successful, innovative education programs that combine academic rigor and skills development with the goal of graduating every student both college and career ready.
 
“These grants will accelerate innovation and partnerships with business and higher education in schools throughout North Carolina, and will empower our educators to be creative in how we prepare our students for college and a career,” said Governor McCrory. “I want to thank the members of our Education and Workforce Innovation Commission for their commitment to support students from diverse regions, communities, and schools around North Carolina and to ensure that all students, regardless of background, have access to the exciting opportunities these grants will bring about.”
 
The Education and Workforce Innovation Fund was created in the 2013 legislative session. Grants will support five year programs in districts throughout North Carolina. 
 
Members of the Education and Workforce Innovation Commission include State Superintendent June Atkinson, University of North Carolina system President Tom Ross, North Carolina Community Colleges President Scott Ralls, State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey and other business leaders from around the state. Billie Redmond, Chief Executive Officer of TradeMark Properties, acts as Commission Chair.

The article goes on to list the grants.  11 grants were given to the tune of $7.9 million.

  1. Durham Public Schools ($800,000)
  2. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools ($800,000)
  3. Surry County Schools ($800,000)
  4. Davidson County, Lexington City, and Thomasville City Schools – Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy ($350,000)
  5. Duplin County Schools ($800,000)
  6. Buncombe County Schools ($800,000)
  7. Beaufort County Schools ($800,000)
  8. Granville, Franklin, Vance and Warren Counties ($800,000)
  9. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County – Kennedy High School ($350,000)
  10. Chatham, Harnett and Lee Counties ($800,000)
  11. Rutherford County Schools ($800,000)

Want to see a contract for this grant? Click here for Chatham/Harnett/Lee County. Scroll down to page four.

Related Reading:

Governor McCrory Announces Appointments to the North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission

Harnett Schools co-recipient of $800,000 education grant

Posted in Common Core, LadyLiberty1885, NC Politics, NCGA, Pat McCrory, The Articles | Tagged | 1 Comment