Something Wicked This Way Comes: abandoning Utah’s freedom to innovate educationally for a set of mediocre, common, lockstep standards we can’t amend   3 comments

The WestEd Letter

The following letter from WestEd, the test developer for Utah’s testing consortium, the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) shows that something wicked this way comes.  Our freedoms are being taken away educationally by the assessments and standards of Common Core.

By joining Common Core and the SBAC, we have effectively abandoned Utah’s freedom to innovate educationally or to pursue a higher set of standards than the mediocre, lockstep common standards that the Obama administration has been so heavily promoting and incentivizing.  This letter shows that Utah will soon need to abandon even the 15% different, slightly unique set of “Utah Core Standards” in order to compete in the common core testing program.  Read it:

From: “Christel S”

To: esato@wested.org, ccarrol@wested.org
Sent: Monday, April 2, 2012 4:44:12 AM
Subject: Alignment, Linkage, and Crosswalk Studies of Standards and Assessments

Dear Edynn Sato and Cathy Carroll / WestEd,

Please help me understand how differents states’ standards will be “crosswalked” or taken into account, on the SBAC assessments.

Please help me understand how the individual standards of a member state of SBAC will still be relevant in light of the fact that all the SBAC states take the same test.

For example, if Colorado added 15% more calculus to their math standards than the federal standards had, while Utah added 15% more geometry, how will those individual state standards be addressed by the test? If the WestEd’s test contains neither Colorado’s calculus nor Utah’s geometry, because their standards were actually higher than those of the federal government’s, how will the test benefit the SBAC states?

Thank you.

Christel

Date: Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 7:07 PM
Subject: Re: Alignment, Linkage, and Crosswalk Studies of Standards and Assessments
To: 212christel@gmail.com
Cc: Edynn Sato

Dear Christel:

Thank you for the question regarding assessment alignment within the Consortium. Consistent with the terms of this Race to the Top grant, the Consortium will be developing an assessment system that ensures comparability across member states. To that end, the Consortium is developing, through state-led input and consensus, test blueprints that measure the Common Core State Standards that are the same across all member states. If a state chooses to add their state-specific 15% to the Consortium test, then that additional information can be included in their local reporting, but is not considered the Smarter Balanced test.

In order for this system to have a real impact within a state the state will need to adopt the Common Core State Standards (i.e., not have two sets of standards). As a condition of the grant, all member states participating in the assessment must adopt the Common Core. In our discussions with member states regarding the desire to implement the additional 15% we have found that most interest comes from states with standards that fall outside English language arts or mathematics (e.g., Native American history).

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me directly or email SBAC@wested.org

Thank you.
Christyan
Christyan Mitchell, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate
Assessment and Standards Development Services
WestEd
phone: 415-615-3115
fax: 415-615-3200
email: cmitche@wested.org

Common Core is an assault on states’ sovereignty, educator autonomy and family privacy in the guise of an academic standards-raising movement.

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Posted April 6, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

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3 responses to “Something Wicked This Way Comes: abandoning Utah’s freedom to innovate educationally for a set of mediocre, common, lockstep standards we can’t amend

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  1. Pingback: Utah Unhappily Bound by Common Core Standards | COMMON CORE

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