- the Common Core State Standards were instituted into law before they were ever even available to read in final form,
- the underpinnings of the P20/W Council (Prek-20 years and Workforce) were cemented in place to collect massive amounts of data on public school children without consent of their parents thanks to the changes in FERPA laws under Arne Duncan and the Obama administration
- A-F grading system and teacher 'accountability' systems were begun
- Then there's the Common Core testing. Barresi got out of PARCC the organization granted millions of federal funds (from stimulus money) to create the tests associated with the Common Core. She moved, however, to a contract with Measured Progress whose website says, "We assist both the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership to Assess Resdiness for College and Career - the multi-state consortia formed through the Race to the Top initiatve and charged with developing Common Core assessments." So how'd we get out of PARCC again? How'd we think that the Federal Government was just going to throw away all those hard earned ARRA funds (stimulus) they'd plunked down to PARCC and Smarter Balance for creating the tests (the word "assessment" is not 'test' - please look it up). Did we REALLY think our big government superintendent would do that?
Governor Fallin has gone so far as to create an Executive Order decrying federal involvement in public education all the while SIGNING OFF on every single federal grant generated at the State Department of Education including the NCLB waiver which she says, "Oklahoma passed several landmark education reforms last year, and we expect those improvements to our educational system to continue to improve the quality of our schools raise performance levels among students and ultimately lead to a better educated and more highly skilled workforce."
- We've all been told by Dr. Baressi and others that the Common Core State Standards are not a vehicle for collecting data. WRONG! Here's a sentence found on the Common Core State Standards website (the website has been newly-redesigned but the information here has stayed the same as the screenshots I took last year for my presentation to the CC Interim Study in October) "The project offers a more fine-grained digital mapping that is needed to fulfill the goals and objectives of the multi-state assessment consortia as well as for other purposes including the digital alignment of instructional materials and professional development resources." I just asked my data-base developer husband who told me that this project will create a map that will allow the CCSS to be reduced to data points that can be linked together in a database. This may not mean much, but when you add the fact that the website goes on to say, "The corestandards.org XML file follows the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) schema, also used by Schools Interoperatbility Framework Association (SIF)", you're in trouble. The CEDS is the creation that names every conceivable piece of data that can be collected on children in public education so all schools/districts/state/feds can collect individual pieces of data using the same terminology, allowing all schools to "seamlessly" share and understand the same data points. When you add in the fact that these data points are moving along something called the SIF (created by Microsoft) and this SIF is the common track that connects all schools to the OSDE and the OSDE to the Federal Government, you've just discovered that yes, the Common Core State Standards are not only data points on which to create Common Core tests, but also a mechanism for collecting data via the hundreds of programs being developed for use in classrooms today such as that created by eScholar which tracks kids from the moment they enter the school room until...well, we're not sure when the tracking stops!
- Then there is her America Works initiative for the NGA where she reinforces the need for Common Core (nationalized) standards in order to prepare students for jobs - not life, but JOBS by saying, "As demand for skilled workers continues to rise, governors are playing an increasingly pivotal role in aligning state's education and training resources with the needs of their growing economies." Yes, Governor Fallin believes in the Communist notion of Human Capital (Governor Mary Fallin Oklahoma schools such as Oklahoma City University are providing the energy industry with the human capital needed to support rapid industry growth #GEC2013).
Does any of this sound like these two women want to REPEAL anything they've either continued from Brad Henry's administration or developed themselves in conjunction with the federal government? IT DOESN'T TO ME, so let's just follow this to its logical conclusion:
- In fact, Governor Fallin "...Comes to Common Core's Defense in NGA Speech" just as recently as January 15th of this year!
After reading this, does anyone believe a bill will be passed that actually stops Common Core this session/year? Yes, it might repeal it from law, but our Governor and Superintendent will find a way to continue the process, I feel sure. They HAVE to! Think of all the tentacles these women have let into the state through their federal grant/waiver grabbing!
- If Oklahoma goes back to PASS, the state will lose their waiver because PASS is not "college and career ready" (according to what we've been told). Of course there is absolutely no precedent for losing the waiver - and, since the waiver was based on 'assurances' in the first place, they could be traded out with another set of standards so long as we were being shown to be working on them - but neither Fallin nor Baressi have the gumption to challenge this on the grounds that protecting Oklahoma's children from the feds is best. I don't believe they don't believe that - they may say one thing but they do another.
- Oklahoma already has a 34.45 MILLION dollar contract with NON-PROFIT Measured Progress to test Common Core State Standards set for school year 2014-15. If the tests don't align with the standards, we lose the waiver. Plus, no one seems to know if the testing contract can even be broken. Just out of curiosity how can MP be a not for profit and make that much off one testing contract?
- If the tests aren't ready to go, they can't be used for the school's A-F grade, which is part of the 'accountability' measures in the waiver, so again, you bust the waiver.
- Eventually, the tests are to be used with the teacher accountability system - also a part of the waiver conditions - so again, we'd bust the waiver.
- We have to set up a State Longitudinal Database System, if we stop that, we lose the waiver, but also may have to send money back to the feds because this was also part of the SFSF grant for which Henry applied.
- keeping PASS in the interim
- stretching out the interim from 1 year to 2 (it was originally 2, I actually missed the change apparently)
- establish a task force or committee of some kind BEFORE the standards are devised in in order to make the process more transparent (however, if we leave this up to the candidates to tell us what they would do, it could certainly become a campaign issue!)
- stop the contract with Measured Progress and go back to the tests given under the CTB/McGraw/Hill contract
Bottom line: If we will be forced to use OAS (Common Core) tests and standards for two years while we create new standards, I won't be able to support the 'repeal' portion of the bill (I like several of the other issues addressed by/in the bill and would hope we could keep the bill alive and move forward with those). There will be little reason to have a "Common Core repeal" bill because the standards will have been so ingrained and imbedded with all the stuff I've already mentioned in two years, if it isn't too late now, it will be by then. At that point, we'll simply have to leave the consequences in the laps of our Governor and State Superintendent a election time.
"The Oklahoma State Department of Education is in the process of amending Oklahoma’s ESEA flexibility waiver. The documents listed here highlight the contents of this amendment. Some of the major changes include the definition of Full Academic Year (FAY) status and the new Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) calculations. This replaces the NCLB Accountability Workbook that was in place before Oklahoma’s request for ESEA Flexibility."This was up for public comment before March 25. I guess you just have to check the OSDE website each and every day to see what exactly is up for public comment. Here is the information. It looks as though there are a number of calculations the OSDE is asking to change. Gosh, I wonder how much more money could go into the classroom if we weren't spending all the money to make sure we're appropriately kowtowing to the feds?