Archive for Contributors
House Cloakroom: May 20 – May 24 Analysis: This week the House will take up the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and student loan rate reform. The Northern Route Approval Act does just what its name suggests, approve the Keystone pipeline. This pipeline will be source of jobs and energy for Americans and approval [...]
Original Post: There Were No Rogue Agents In the IRS Scandal.
They were all looking at me. Staring, actually. I looked around the silent sales room. No one blinked. They were all stunned. For twenty minutes, I’d laid on a coating of bullshit that would have made Bill Clinton cringe. And it worked. I sold a year of lawn care to a woman who, at first, thought our service was an environmental menace. “Do you know Dr. Peter Raven?” I asked. “From the botanical gardens?” she
Today politics prevailed. The interests of the people were laid aside with SB210 allowing a state department to continue ducking the public’s questions and the legislature’s authority. Our countdown clock continues and will remain at the top of our page awaiting DESE’s response to at least some of the questions the public has about Common Core.
We may never get answers to the conflicting comments we have heard about common core.
The National Governor’s Association and common core proponents in general site a main reason for having common standards is so that children moving from state-to-state, district-to-district will not experience an interruption in their education. There will be no subject matter holes because everyone is being taught the same thing. Yet when pressed, DESE insisted in front of a House Committee that Missouri owns the standards and can change them at any time. In fact, all states can, and have, changed the standards. That, by definition, would mean that the standards are no longer “common” among the states and a child would once again experience an interruption in his/her education should he/she move. This would also make the state’s standards out of line with the assessments. So which is it: alignment state-to-state or autonomy to set one’s own standards?
DESE staff stated that some schools have been implementing Common Core for
3 years and have shown “tremendous results.” How are they calculating these tremendous results? This statement is impossible to make as no common core assessments have
been approved or administered. If the results are found in the existing MAP assessment scores, how is that possible? Those tests are not aligned with common core. What is actually being measured? If we are seeing improvement in an existing test, why do we need SBAC tests? The indication from states who were early
adopters of CC like Kentucky, is that following curriculum aligned with CC
produced a 30% drop in student scores on existing state standardized tests. How are we not seeing a decline, but in fact an improvement?
DESE has stated that they do not share data with the federal government, that it stays in state. But the MOU’s signed by the state with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia (SBAC) in May 2010 states the consortia will provide “Reliable , valid and fair scores for students and groups that can be used to evaluate student achievement and year-to-year growth; determine school/district/state effectiveness for Title I ESEA…10) Professional development focused on curriculum and lesson development as well as scoring and examination of student work…. 14) A consolidated data reporting system that enhance parents, students, teacher, principal district and state understanding of student progress toward college and career readiness.” SBAC is housed in Washington state.
This means that individual student data will be retained by SBAC who in turn has an agreement with the US Dept of Ed that says it will “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 awarded, 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.” The reality is that once the data leaves the state we no longer have control of where it goes and who has access to it. Changes to FERPA (the laws they are referring to) means there is little appreciable protection of that data.
Additionally, DESE promised in the Race To The Top application (p.15) that they would “Provide a database accessible to researchers throughout the nation that is the first-ever link between student performance, teaching practices, and leadership decisions.”
Commissioner Nicastro has said that it is not costing the state any new money to implement common core. She further testified that the reason the RTTT costs were so high was because that application was for a Cadillac program that we were not fully implementing, because we did not get the grant. However, in that grant (p. 40) she wrote “Implementation of the reform plan described in this proposal will not stop if the State does not win Race to the Top funding. Missouri has a long tradition of fostering innovative improvements in education, and this will not change. Race to the Top funds will allow the State to move forward aggressively and comprehensively in adopting these reforms. In the absence of Race to the Top funding, the State and its partners would continue moving forward but will do so over a longer time-period and, in some areas, will have to adopt a more incremental approach.“
The IRS official who led the tax-exempt organizations unit when Tea Party groups were targeted is now in charge of the IRS office responsible for ObamaCare, two Capitol Hill sources told Fox News. The acknowledgement comes after the administration announced that the official’s successor — who had only been on the job a few days [...]
When you think about what President Obama has done – and will continue to do to our economy – you have to laugh. If you don’t laugh, you will cry really, really hard. Here’s why. Heritage breaks it down in great detail. When President Obama’s progressive ideology is translated into budget numbers, the [...]
As the 2012 reelection campaign begins to fade into the background, Orrin Hatch is returning to his open borders roots. After voting for the Schumer managers’ amendment to the amnesty bill and against Ted Cruz’s enforcement before legalization amendment in committee last week, he voted to gut E-Verify during the Thursday markup of the gang [...]
Last week, the Senate approved the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act, more commonly known as the Internet sales tax. Proponents tried to paint the vote as evidence of overwhelming support for the bill. That is simply not the case, though. As you dig deeper in to the numbers, it becomes apparent the push from big government and big [...]
In speaking to groups about common core and the data collection that is occurring because of it and simultaneously to it, we often get the question, “What is the government’s plan for all that data? What are they going to do with it.”
USA Today reported on a a new white paper released, the U.S. Department of Education which may partially answer that question. The paper (Improving the Measurement of Socio-Economic Status for the NAEP) “proposes classifying students by more than just their parents’ income or
education levels. It explains the federal government should be able to
tie test scores to a host of indicators, including: whether parents own
or rent their home, how many times a family has moved in the past year
and whether anyone in their household gets medical assistance.”
And what will they do with the socio-economic classification? “It would allow us to target resources better,” Sean Reardon of the Stanford Graduate School of Education.
The paper calls for better ways of collecting data on students and discusses how the NAEP currently collects this information, through a 13-question survey that eighth-grade students fill out at the end of the test. It asks them how much school their parents completed. It can also
include questions such as: “Does your family get a newspaper at least
four times a week?” and “About how many books are there in your home?”
For fourth-graders, it has asked whether they have Internet access, a
dishwasher or a “clothes dryer just for your family.” The only good news here is that people recognize what poor reporters our kids are of this kind of information, making it only a slight indicator of SES.
However, that doesn’t stop them from trying to use the kids as data collectors. The report suggests “Cognitive laboratory studies should be conducted on various question types for collecting student reports on parental occupation.” So rather than ask mom and dad what they do for a living, let’s ask better questions to get the kids to tell on them.
The report also acknowledges that data collection will likely require sharing with data collected by other government departments. “In addition, the development of a new SES measure is likely to incur both anticipated and unanticipated side effects, including the requirement to coordinate with other federal programs within and outside NCES, and consequences such as attention given to equity and educational resource distribution.”
For those that want a deeper understanding of the data collection landscape, both with Common Core and with the P-20 Council, we have posted a great page on MO Against Common Core under the Topics tab called Data Collection. This is a great resource to learn more about government data collection on students.
Lost in the recriminations on the Right over the Heritage Foundation scoring of Amnesty 2013 was any notion that conservatism is deeper than a tally of whom receives what in the federally sponsored Great Candy Giveaway. The argument has descended to how the government booty is divided. It is a disgusting spectacle that long ago [...]
Republican politicians like Mitch McConnell will talk incessantly about the profligate spending in Washington when they are pandering to their primary voters. But they will seldom tell you which functions of government should be devolved to the states, privatized, or eliminated altogether. On Wednesday, the Senate passed a $12.2 billion water bill to fund many [...]