What is WestEd and why should you care?   44 comments

What is WestEd and why should you care?

“In order for this [testing] 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.)” -April 2012 statement from WestEd Assessments and Standards Senior Research Associate Christyan Mitchell, Ph.D.


The information cited on these pages comes from WestEd’s website and WestEd employees.



How WestEd is funded:

In 1966 Congress created a network of Regional Educational Laboratories, under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, two of which became WestEd. Today WestEd is no longer officially run by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), but it is still funded largely by the federal government. With grants from the DOE and other federal and private granting agencies, WestEd laboratories work as “a public agency performing an essential government function, exempt from income taxes.” Last month, Nancy Pelosi congratulated WestEd on a $5 Million Department of Labor Award.

The WestEd – Utah connection:

WestEd is the project manager for the SBAC,  a consortium of states all willing to take the same federally-funded and overseen test.  SBAC was joined by Utah in 2009. Although Utah does not receive any money through its membership in SBAC, the consortium’s testing cooperative is funded by the RTTT federal grant to produce tests that Utah students are slated to take beginning in 2014. Larry Shumway, Utah’s Superintendent of Schools, is on the board of the SBAC’s test producer/project manager, WestEd. WestEd also has other connections with Utah, as the Salt Lake Tribune reported in November 2011 that WestEd would now be partnering directly with  the  Utah State Office of Education on another, unrelated, school program.

How WestEd’s relationship with U.S. DOE impacts Utah’s educational concerns:

WestEd/SBAC is required, by the document entitled “Cooperative Agreement” which is written by the U.S. DOE, to coordinate “across consortia,” which means working closely with Achieve, Inc., (program manager for PARCC, the Common Core’s other testing arm) as well as having to coordinate, report and give status updates to the DOE.  This triangulation appears to be in violation of federal laws prohibiting federal involvement or oversight in state educational programs.

According to the company itself, its activities and “influence is enormous, from the daycare center… to the floors of Congress… Our products and services…  sometimes even shape national policy… Legislators need sound information to inform their decisions… WestEd offers them access to the best research and to the most effective practices…. We give policymakers the information they need.”

Stanley Rabinowitz, Director of Assessment & Standards at WestEd, was a member of the Common Core State Standards Validation Committee before he got the job of writing tests for those standards. 

Letter from WestEd to a concerned Utah educator: (emphasis added)

To: esato@wested.org, ccarrol@wested.org

Sent: Monday, April 2, 2012 4:44:12 AM



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.




Date: Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Cc: Edynn Sato <esato@wested.org>


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 Mitchell, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate

Assessment and Standards Development Services


phone:  415-615-3115

fax: 415-615-3200

email: cmitche@wested.org





Posted April 6, 2012 by Christel Swasey in Uncategorized

44 responses to “What is WestEd and why should you care?

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: The Emperor Is Wearing No Clothes: Why Won’t the USOE or Superintendent Shumway Answer Questions? « What is the Common Core Initiative?

  2. Pingback: EVIDENCE AND LINKS – official links and documents that show Common Core robs Utah of educational freedom « What Does Common Core Give?

  3. Pingback: Education Without Representation: Rebutting unsubstantiated claims of the Utah State School Board’s flier « What Does Common Core Give?

  4. Pingback: Top 10 Things To Study About Common Core « What Does Common Core Give?

  5. Pingback: Cooperative Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Education and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the State of Washington (Fiscal Agent for Utah) « What Does Common Core Give?

  6. Pingback: Cooperative Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Education and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the State of Washington (Fiscal Agent for Utah) « What Does Common Core Give?

  7. Pingback: SB10 Utah’s Latest Education Bill « What Does Common Core Give?

  8. Pingback: State and Local School Board Perceptions of Common Core Differ « What Does Common Core Give?

  9. Pingback: State and Local School Board Perceptions of Common Core Differ « What Does Common Core Give?

  10. Pingback: Utah State School Board Neutered By National Standards « What Does Common Core Give?

  11. Pingback: Utah Battle of the Blogs Over Common Core State Standards | Truth in American Education

  12. Pingback: BYU Professor David Wiley Defends USOE Statement by Brenda Hales « What Does Common Core Give?

  13. Pingback: Hogwash Alert: “National Review” on Common Core | COMMON CORE

  14. Pingback: “Hogwash Alert to National Review Online”

  15. Pingback: Regarding Common Core: “Hogwash Alert to National Review Online” | Are We Aware Yet? Political News Blog-Current News Political News Blog

  16. Since the admin of this web page is working, no doubt
    very shortly it will be renowned, due to its feature contents.

  17. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your
    articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all.
    But think of if you added some great visuals or videos to
    give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this
    site could certainly be one of the very best in its field.
    Good blog!

  18. Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I
    was wanting to know your situation; many of us have developed some nice practices and we are looking
    to exchange techniques with others, be sure to shoot
    me an e-mail if interested.

  19. Howdy this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors
    or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  20. My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been
    using Movable-type on several websites for about
    a year and am nervous about switching to another platform.
    I have heard good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can
    transfer all my wordpress content into it?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  21. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation?
    My site has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help protect against content from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  22. Pingback: Dozens of Links Documenting Common Core System Far More Harmful Than Good | COMMON CORE

  23. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this
    site before but after reading through some
    of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and
    I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  24. If you may need money for simply a month or so, you’ll
    be able to apply for pay day loans super real for
    example: carl can be a property investor along with a carpenter.

  25. Pingback: For Utah School Districts: A Common Core Fact-Checking Adventure | COMMON CORE

  26. I do not drop many remarks, but i did some searching and wound up here What is WestEd and why should you
    care? | COMMON CORE. And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if
    it’s allright. Could it be simply me or does it look like a few of the remarks appear as if they are coming from
    brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are writing on other sites,
    I would like to follow everything fresh you have to post.
    Could you make a list of all of your communal pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page
    or twitter feed?

  27. Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff
    previous to and you are just too fantastic. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what
    you are stating and the way in which you say it.

    You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it
    sensible. I can’t wait to read far more from you.

    This is really a great site.

  28. 3-Posting Parade. If you use big pictures or lengthy verbiage of
    text, then the owner of the Facebook page is most likely to delete your
    post and readers most likely will not LIKE your page because you
    will be “that person” that rambles on! facebook likes app [healthysugardaddy.com]

  29. Awesome! Its genuinely remarkable piece of writing, I
    have got much clear idea on the topic of from this article.

  30. Yes! Finally someone writes about motorcycle accident
    injury attorney st louis.

  31. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well
    written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info.

    Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  32. The picture quality is pristine with the capability of full high-definition resolution at 1080p.
    The console delivers no cost online play by way of the Play – Station Network (PSN), although it in all probability loses to Xbox Reside in some regards.
    In most of the countries, even the gas gas stops,
    pharmacy and grocery restaurants sell Play – Station network charge

  33. You could definitely see your skills in the work you write.
    The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe.
    At all times go after your heart.

  34. Right here is the right site for anybody who wishes to find out about this
    topic. You understand a whole lot its almost
    tough to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been written about for decades.
    Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

  35. Hi there, yup this paragraph is really pleasant and I have learned lot of things from it about blogging.

  36. Pingback: The Governor’s Charade | COMMON CORE

  37. I got this website from mmy pal who informed me regarding this site and now this tine I aam visiting this
    web page and reading very informative articles att this place.

  38. Pingback: Pearson Is Everywhere: The ‘Turn Around’ Schools Program | Lady Liberty 1885

  39. Pingback: DOJ ‘Lord of The Flies’ Style ‘Courts’ and Common Core Tied WestEd | Lady Liberty 1885

  40. Pingback: Checking In With Common Core Potemkin Village Resident ‘NC Ready For Success’ | Lady Liberty 1885

  41. I love your site and all the information you provide. Thanks for all of your dedication and hard work stopping common core. My one comment, not specific to this article, is that the dark blue background is very hard to read. It often deters me from finishing the articles. Perhaps good old black and white, or light yellow and black…anything else. Thank you again!

  42. Very soon this web page will be famous among all blog viewers, due to it’s pleasant postsAlso visit my web site; Paysafecard Code Generator 2014

  43. Is WestEd, which considers itself a “non-profit” file income tax returns? I couldn’t find any on Guidestar.

  44. Pingback: Privacy Data Issues in Education – Data as Capital – Natural Family BLOG

Comments are welcome here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: