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Cooperative Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Education and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the State of Washington (Fiscal Agent for Utah)   4 comments

 

  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s Cooperative Agreement with Utah and the other SBAC exposes itself in the fact that Common Core is an educational movement masterminded not by a group of state Governors, but by federal forces (and, FYI, pushed and approved by internationalist forces.)  http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_25.shtml 

The full text, minus my commentaries in brackets, can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf  Below, my [comments] are in brackets.

Common Core State Standards and these assessments pave the path for teaching children a nationalized curriculum and values and taking away, incrementally, pieces of our local educational freedom, local control and personal privacy.

It is a very slow, boiling-the-hapless-froggie-program, and was adopted by Utah in 2009/2010, with full Common Core testing implementation not to be completed until 2015 in Utah.  The assessments are key to controlling what gets taught.  And the assessments are written to federal standards, not to any unique set of standards for which Utah wanted to test kids.  Just ask WestEd.  I did.  http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/what-is-wested-and-why-should-you-care/

  Utah’s Superintendent Larry Shumway received a letter from Sec. of Education Arne Duncan.

Arne Duncan’s letter:  http://utahpubliceducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Secretary-Arne-Duncan-March-7-2012-Letter_edited-1.jpg  stated, “Utah has complete control of Utah’s learning standards” and “States have the sole right to set learning standards.”

–Which is so important and should be true, but under Common Core, is not so. The tests take away most of the control over Utah’s standards because teachers will teach to the test, and the test (WestEd, the test writer verifies) is written to federal, not individual states’, standards and values.  http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/what-is-wested-and-why-should-you-care/

Utah might still legally have the right to determine her own learning standards, but by joining the testing system Duncan incentivized, to be tested on national CCSS standards, which standards and test Utah has no liberty to amend, Utah’s lost her educational sovereignty– maybe forever. 

  SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR NIKKI HALEY

Keep it mind that it’s difficult to navigate an annulment with Common Core, as South Carolina has found out. http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/sc-gov-nikki-haley-backs-bill-to-block-common-core-standards/  http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2012/04/south_carolina_anti-common-sta.html http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/statement-us-secretary-education-arne-duncan-1

So, here it is:

COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT Between the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

  and the

SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENT CONSORTIUM

and the

STATE OF WASHINGTON  (fiscal agent)

 [WA is the lead state for SBAC; Utah’s agent under Common Core testing system]

Date: January 7, 2011. PR/Award #: S395B100003 and S395B100003A

In accordance with 34 CFR 75.200(b)(4), [refers to a grant I.D., not to a law] this award is a cooperative agreement because the Secretary of Education (Secretary) has determined [ONE MAN DETERMINED IT –WITHOUT AUTHORITY] that substantial communication, coordination, and involvement between the U.S. Department of Education (Department or ED) and the recipient is necessary to carry out a successful project. Consistent with 34 CFR 75.234(b),[not a legal reference, but a grant I.D. number]  the terms and conditions identified in this cooperative agreement set out the explicit character and extent of the anticipated collaboration between ED and the award recipient.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this agreement is to support the consortium recipient in developing new, common assessment systems that are valid, reliable and fair for their intended purposes and for all student subgroups, and that measure student knowledge and skills against a common set of college- and career-ready standards in mathematics and English language arts. In light of the technical nature of this grant and the fact that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) will likely be reauthorized during the course of this project, the Department will provide necessary flexibility to respond to changing circumstances, technology, and laws by working collaboratively with the recipient through this agreement. The objective is to assist the consortium in fulfilling, at minimum, the goals articulated in the consortium’s approved Race to the Top Assessment (RTTA) application, requirements established in the RTTA Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 that was published in the

Federal Register on April 9, 2010, and any subsequent additions detailed through this agreement.

SCOPE OF WORK

The work to be performed under this agreement shall be that described in the consortium’s approved RTTA application, requirements established in the RTTA NIA, conditions on the grant award, and any subsequent additions detailed through this agreement (e.g., plans for development and delivery of the technology platform for assessment), along with any modifications or specifications ED and the consortium determine to be necessary to carry out this work in accordance with the approved application and requirements. Any subsequent changes in the scope of work must be communicated by the grantee to the Program Officer in writing and approved by the Officer in writing. 2

ARTICLE I STATEMENT OF JOINT OBJECTIVES

A. OBJECTIVES TO BE ACHIEVED

The recipient, with the Department’s support, will use RTTA grant funds to develop assessment systems that are valid, reliable, and fair for their intended purposes and for all student subgroups; support and inform instruction; [that just said that Utah, with the federal government holding our hand, will support and inform instruction.  That’s our sovereign instructional system they are talking about.]  provide accurate information about what students know and can do; and measure student achievement against standards designed to ensure that all students gain the knowledge and skills needed for successful entry to college and the workplace. These assessments are intended to play a critical role in educational systems; provide administrators, educators, parents, and students with the data and information needed [This is key; the feds want our data and they want easy access to it, and educational reasons are only part of the reasons they want that data]  to continuously improve teaching and learning; and help meet the President’s goal of restoring, by 2020, the nation’s position as the world leader in college graduates.

B. RESULTS EXPECTED

Specifically, the recipient will develop an assessment system that measures student knowledge and skills against a common set of college and career-ready standards in mathematics and English language arts in a way that covers the full range of those standards, elicits complex student demonstrations or applications of knowledge and skills as appropriate, and provides an accurate measure of student achievement across the full performance continuum and an accurate measure of student growth over a full academic year or course. This assessment systems will include one or more summative assessment components in mathematics and in English language arts that are administered at least once during the academic year in grades 3 through 8 and at least once in high school and that produce student achievement data and student growth data that can be used to determine whether individual students are college- and career-ready or on track to being college- and career-ready. [By the way, they’ve redefined “college and career ready” to make it the lowest common denominator, effectively dumbing us down. http://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?p=466  ]   Additionally, the recipient’s assessment systems developed with the RTTA grants will assess all students, including English learners and students with disabilities (as defined in the NIA). Finally, the assessment systems will produce data (including student achievement data and student growth data) that can be used to inform (a) determinations of school effectiveness; (b) determinations of individual principal and teacher effectiveness for purposes of evaluation; (c) determinations of principal and teacher professional development and support needs; and (d) teaching, learning, and program improvement.  [Do you notice that all this effectiveness accountability is toward the federal government, rather than to local parents or administrators? This is not good.]

ARTICLE II PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN

A. RECIPIENT’S RESPONSIBILITIES

In addition to carrying out the tasks and activities described in the recipient’s application, as indicated in the Scope of Work section of this agreement, the recipient will:

1) Perform tasks identified in Article I of this agreement.

3

2) Provide updated, detailed work plans and budgets for all major activities identified in the recipient’s application, including but not limited to: • development, quality control, use and validation of artificial intelligence for scoring;

• selection of a uniform growth model consistent with test purpose, structure, and intended uses;

• development of performance tasks (addressing items such as technical challenges of scoring, reliability, and large-scale administration of performance-based items);

• development of a research and evaluation agenda (addressing items such as validity, reliability, and fairness);

• development and delivery of the technology platform for assessment.

3) Actively participate in any meetings and telephone conferences with ED staff to discuss (a) progress of the project, (b) potential dissemination of resulting non-proprietary products and lessons learned, (c) plans for subsequent years of the project, and (d) other relevant information, including applicable technical assistance activities conducted or facilitated by ED or its designees, including periodic expert reviews, and collaboration with the other RTTA recipient. [This triangulates testing and data collection with the other consortium, nationalizing our educational systems which used to be sovereign for each state, now under the supervisory nose of the federal government, our nanny dictator of Common Core.]

4) Be responsive to requests from ED for information [of course] about the status of the project, project implementation and updated plans, outcomes, any problems anticipated or encountered, and future plans for the assessment system, including by providing such information in writing when requested.

5) Comply with, and where applicable coordinate with the ED staff to fulfill, the program requirements established in the RTTA Notice Inviting Applications and the conditions on the grant award, as well as to this agreement, including, but not limited to working with the Department to develop a strategy to make student-level data that results from the assessment system available on an ongoing basis for research, including for prospective linking, validity, and program improvement studies; subject to applicable privacy laws.  [Even though Utah got no money from the RTTT grant application, the fiscal agent did, so Utah is bound to these grant requirements and compliance mandates.]

B. FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITIES

The Program Officer is responsible for supporting the recipient’s compliance [love the language– supporting compliance is the same thing as forcing us]  with Federal requirements and is the liaison with the recipient. The Program Officer will ensure project consistency with the recipient’s approved application, Department goals and objectives, as well as to assist the recipient in meeting its benchmarks and objectives by providing necessary support and flexibility. The following are, at a minimum, the activities that the Program Officer may be involved in to exercise his or her responsibilities on behalf of the Department:

1) The Program Officer will work collaboratively with the recipient as it carries out tasks identified in this agreement.  [Thank you, federal government, for the grant that you gave the SBAC but we really don’t want to work with you because, you see, we are SOVEREIGN over our own educational system.  –Or used to be.]

2) The Program Officer will provide feedback on the recipient’s status updates, annual reports, any interim reports, and project work plans and products, including, for example, selection of key personnel, and review of provisions of proposed subcontracts by recipient.

3) The Program Officer will help identify sources of technical assistance for the project to the extent these are available.

4) The Program Officer will facilitate interaction with other offices of the Department [Oh, this just means our data will also be shared with other controlling federal Departments, besides the Dept of Education.] as needed to assist the recipient in the execution of its plan, as well as interaction across consortia when necessary. [interaction across consortia means nationalizing education under one D.C. hub called the Dept. of Ed.]

5) The Program Officer will review and approve modifications to the design of activities proposed under this Agreement. Any recipient requests for changes shall be submitted in writing directly to the Program Officer. Requests are not approved until the grantee has received authorization and notification in writing from the Program Officer.

6) The Program Officer will maintain the Department’s communication and coordination with the project, by, for example, providing leadership in identifying issues to be addressed by the project; stopping or redirecting proposed activities if the methodology proposed appears vague [love it.  redirect = boss. mandate. control.]  [“appears vague”– kind of like how they called Common Core “state-led” and “voluntary” in a non-academically threatening, non-financially binding, vague kind of way?]  or requires further justification or the projected outcomes are inconsistent with the intended project outcomes.

7) Except as provided elsewhere in this agreement, the Program Officer is not solely authorized to make any commitments or otherwise obligate the Government or authorize any changes that affect the agreement amount, terms, or conditions.

C. JOINT RESPONSIBILITIES

1) The Program Officer and Project Director will maintain frequent communication [will = compulsory language] to facilitate cooperation under this agreement.

2) The Program Officer will work with the Project Director to determine a timeline for project updates that will be provided by the Project Director through the course of each project year.

3) The Program Officers for the RTTA and the General Supervision Enhancement Grants consortia to develop Alternate Assessments based upon Alternate Academic Achievement Standards ( GSEG AA-AAAS) projects and the respective Project Directors for RTTA and GSEG AA-AAAS will collaborate to coordinate appropriate tasks and timelines to foster synchronized development of assessment systems supported by these grants. [sychronize assessments= nationalized educationcare]

4) The Program Officer for the RTTA grantees will work with the Project Directors for both RTTA grantees to coordinate and facilitate coordination across consortia.  [coordination across consortia under federal direction = nationalized educationcare]

ARTICLE III FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND BUDGET MODIFICATIONS

A. The estimated cost for the work to be performed under this Agreement is $159,976,843 and $15,872,696 for the supplemental award.

B. The detailed budget for the implementation of this project is the budget contained in the application; and for the supplemental award for this project, the budget submitted by the recipient and approved by the Program Officer, attached to this agreement. The work of the project will be performed according the budget negotiated and approved in the application and confirmed by this cooperative agreement. With respect to 34 CFR section 80.30(c) “Budget changes” provisions, the Grantee and sub-recipients must obtain prior written approval from ED for transfers among direct cost categories and among separately budgeted programs, projects, functions, or activities that exceed $100,000 of the current total approved budget.

ARTICLE IV COMMUNICATIONS AND REPORTS

The recipient will undertake communications and submit reports in the quantities and frequencies shown below:

Required Communications/Reports Quantity/Transmittal

Frequency

Monthly Project UpdateBrief update submitted electronically to the Program Officer followed by callMonthlyMinutes from regularly-scheduled Consortium Executive Committee Meetings, maintained by the PMPSubmitted electronically to the Project Officer, as requestedMonthly, for previous monthSemi-annual Performance check-in against timeline and benchmarksUpdate submitted electronically to the Program OfficerSemi-annualReporting Required by Sec. 1512 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)Submitted via the http://www.federalreporting.gov websiteQuarterly, schedule available at: http://www.recovery.gov/FAQ/Pages/ RecipientReporting.aspx#schedule

  SECRETARY OF EDUCATION ARNE DUNCAN:

 A MAN WHO WORKS HARD TO DELETE STATE SOVEREIGNTY OVER EDUCATION

AND TO CREATE NATIONALIZED EDUCATION WITHOUT PRIVACY OR PARENTAL RIGHTS

 — WHO STANDS UP TO HIM?

 ONLY TEXAS, VIRGINIA and SOUTH CAROLINA –SO FAR.

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