Today, 12-3, the state school board voted to get Utah out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). The political climate was cited as a reason for the move. Yes, we do care in this state about freedom from federal control and this is a huge win for educational freedom. The Cooperative Agreement will no longer be binding on Utah as it is on Washington and the many other states in SBAC. The federal government cannot demand access to the data they would have gathered via the high-stakes tests. Arne Duncan now cannot micromanage Utah’s testing choices as he would have if we had stayed in SBAC, synchronized with PARCC. It also means that if Utah elects to add 15% to the common standards, no test will discourage teachers from not using our unique 15%. So, it is a happy day for freedom. Ding dong, the witch is dead –or at least thrown aside, far aside. I’m so grateful that I think I should send a bouquet of flowers to the state school board.