We heard almost nothing from DESE at the end of the pilot tests last spring even though there were numerous problems in piloting districts. We didn't even see the scores that resulted from those tests. The scores would only be useful as a relative baseline upon which to compare future tests. They were, by SBAC's own admission, meaningless as a measure of student performance on the tests since they piloted both the delivery system and the items simultaneously.
The state rolled out the latest version of the test, a fixed form, not computer adaptive as last year's was, with little comment on its readiness. The field reports so far indicate it may have as many problems as last year's pilot, only this time every district in the state can experience those problems, not just a select few pilot districts.
We have gotten phone calls from concerned teachers who have seen the problems with the test:
So that DESE cannot hide these problems again, we would appreciate those who are involved in administering the test sharing their observations of problems. Please use this link to go to our on-line form to provide your input. Responses are anonymous.
Statewide test scores that ESEA requires must be obtained from valid and reliable assessments (see bold font below)
NCLB Part A — Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies
Subpart 1 — Basic Program Requirements
(3) ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS-
(A) IN GENERAL- Each State plan shall demonstrate that the State educational agency, in consultation with local educational agencies, has implemented a set of high-quality, yearly student academic assessments that include, at a minimum, academic assessments in mathematics, reading or language arts, and science that will be used as the primary means of determining the yearly performance of the State and of each local educational agency and school in the State in enabling all children to meet the State's challenging student academic achievement standards, except that no State shall be required to meet the requirements of this part relating to science assessments until the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year.
(B) USE OF ASSESSMENTS- Each State educational agency may incorporate the data from the assessments under this paragraph into a State-developed longitudinal data system that links student test scores, length of enrollment, and graduation records over time.
(C) REQUIREMENTS- Such assessments shall--
(i) be the same academic assessments used to measure the achievement of all children;
(ii) be aligned with the State's challenging academic content and student academic achievement standards, and provide coherent information about student attainment of such standards;
(iii) be used for purposes for which such assessments are valid and reliable, and be consistent with relevant, nationally recognized professional and technical standards;
SBAC does not meet that criterion of having validity and reliability as indicated on this memo from SBAC shared with state education leadership.
The important text excerpts in the memo are on the back of the pdf page:
• Establishment of internal validity , or the degree to which the test functions as required, has sufficient reliability, and sufficient ability to measure the intended content and not unintended content. Internal validity was investigated using Pilot Test results to determine whether or not a given content area test (ELA/literacy or mathematics) measured the intended construct and not unintended constructs. Essentially, this is an investigation as to whether or not the test is measuring primarily one construct (i.e., if it is uni-dimensional). As indicated in the attached dimensionality paper, the evidence strongly suggests that the Smarter Balanced ELA/literacy and mathematics test are uni-dimensional. Test reliability will initially be modeled through simulations using the item pool after item review, which is due to be completed December 31, 2014. Operational test reliability will be reported in the technical manual following the first operational administration in spring 2015. [in other words, test items and the test as a whole should have reliability data BEFORE it is administered. This sentence says that as of this date, the data are not available.]
Once the Smarter Balanced assessments are administered operationally in spring 2015, it will be possible to determine “external validity,” which is the degree to which test results correspond to external indicators (consistent with expectations) . For example, students who perform well on the summative test are expected to perform well in the classroom. These external research studies are listed in the attached Validation Worksheet document  (see the checkmark under column F for applicable activities). The information in this table shows the main validity activities established through the Smarter Balanced Validity Framework and the associated sources of evidence, past, present, and future. Because this type of evidence continues to be gathered through the operational administration of the assessments, this table mostly reflects future plans for external validity research.
Furthermore, the administration of the SBAC as a fixed form test is not the administration procedure used in the pilot and field testing -- meaning the test will be obviously flawed and scores basically worthless if administration attempts to use 2015 scores as "standardized" test scores.
The above information means that as of this 2015 testing, SBAC does not meet NCLB requirements and, therefore, DESE and the U.S. Dept of ED's insistence on participation is SBAC will not meet the requirements of the federal law it is intended to fulfill.
Opting out of SBAC is the morally right thing for a parent to do if the state and district administrators won't or believe they can't behave in a morally, ethical, and professional manner to protect our children.
The Missouri Coalition Against Common Core is proud to announce that Governor Jay Nixon signed House Bill1490 into law on July 14, 2014. We appreciate the work of the Missouri Legislature and the Governor in this first step which enables Missourians to direct and develop education for Missouri students. We believe this is an important first step forward that applies the appropriate caution when implementing a new and untried standards system. This new law will provide a measure of protection for our teachers, districts and students from consequences for student test scores on a standardized test whose validity and reliability as a tool for measuring their performance is not supported by data.
We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature in the next session to further education excellence for Missouri students.
Please check it out and share it with your friends!
Read more about the universal FAIL of preschool to produce lasting improvement of student performance. Studies now showing that making preschoolers sit in a class structured for older students is actually harmful to their psycho-social development. See our new Early Childhood Education Tab
By - Anne Gassel
The new Speaker, Representative John Diehl (R-89) opened the 2015 session with a speech calling for unity and trust.
"By far most bills that pass this House receive a substantial, bipartisan majority. They don’t involve Republican issues, strictly speaking, or Democratic issues. Often they just come down to the basics of good government – constitutional functions and practical, attentive service to the diverse districts that we represent. When those fundamentals are the focus, we can hardly go wrong. "
That is a welcome statement to those of us who want local control of education. We want government that follows its constitutional constraints and allows diverse school districts to choose the type and scope of service they want and can afford to provide.
Diehl had this to say about education.
“Together, we will challenge our educational institutions to put students first and to graduate students at all levels who are ready to compete in a 21st century economy. And together, we will work to ensure the doors of opportunity are open to everyone who wants to, and is willing to, put in the hard work and sacrifice necessary to succeed.
As this state moves forward, we want everyone to feel empowered to achieve their dreams - no matter their age, their region, or their race. We want everyone to have their chance at a quality functional education, their opportunity to get ahead, their equal opportunity to participate in the economy of our state”
I applaud his focus on opportunity instead of outcome and his recognition that it be there for those who are willing to work for it. We have, for too long, functioned under an education policy that promises a specific outcome, even if students don't work for it. More and more blame is shifted to the teacher and, in a perverse twist, more parents are forced out of the equation as schools try to control all influences on the child's education because they feel 100% responsible for it. This policy leads to more and more spending on education as we attempt to force children to learn at a standardized pace in a standardized way.
This next session our legislative efforts will focus on removing the expensive and unnecessary SBAC tests, student data privacy measures and the restoration of parental rights to direct their child's education. These seem to be in line with the Speaker's thoughts on education so it will be interesting to see if he remains true to his statements yesterday.
You can read Diehl's entire speech here.
Published January 8, 2015
Linda Murphy is an Oklahoma educator
and former appointed Secretary of Education and Deputy Commissioner of Labor
for Workforce Education and Training. She wrote in
the Okie Blaze about her experience in 1995 she was sent to the National Governors Association meeting in Chicago, by then
Oklahoma Governor Keating, where the NGA staff and Marc Tucker met with
Education Advisors from many states.
At that meeting they discussed President Clinton's education plans which were being promoted by business leaders like Lou Gerstner former IBM CEO who later went on to become Chairman Emirtus of Achieve Inc. which wrote the Common Core Standards.
Now her state supports Common Core and the vision of a “human capital pipeline” through education and training nationwide that it enables.
"This is all too familiar to those of us who became informed in the 1990’s," she wrote. "Some leaders remain: Gerstner, Cohen and long range master planner, Marc Tucker. Since 1988 Tucker has been Executive Director of the National Center for Education and the Economy, NCEE, funded by the Carnegie Foundation.
Michael Cohen, Executive Director of ACHIEVE, was chosen by Clinton for leadership in the Department of Education. Cohen was on staff with Clinton, while he was Governor and chairman of the National Governor’s Association."
At that time Murphy and the education advisors from Virginia and New Hampshire were very vocal about their opposition to this vision.
"I just said NO. No, the state of Oklahoma will NOT be participating in this plan," she said.
In her 2013 article she wrote about where the plans are now.
It is now 2015, two decades since this plan was launched. Back in the 90's there was no social media and no grassroots activism of any serious note. The creators did not envision any public back lash and they had the support of business giants like IBM. They actually expected the public to lap it up. The government was going to make our kids college and career ready. What's not to like? They certainly didn't anticipate any kind of coordinated public push back. Their blind spot was their inability to predict the public's rejection of any plan that was based on authoritarian central control. They didn't plan on the tiger moms, the constitutional resurgency and frankly the high level of awareness of so many parents about what goes on in school. Turns out there is plenty not to like.
You can read Murphy's full article here.
States that have rejected
Common Core 2015
The American Principles Project and Concerned Women of America have produced a fabulous video series that describes what Common Core Standards are, how we got them and what we can do to get them out of our state.
Please watch all five segments and share this link with as many people as you can.
American Family Association
Americans For Prosperity
American Principles Project
Concerned Women Of America
Conservative Teachers of America
Education Action Group Foundation
Locke & Smith
Home School Legal Defense Association John Locke Foundation
former Attorney General Ed Meese
National Federation of Republican Women
Pacific Research Institute
Public Interest Institute
Public Policy Institute
Washington Policy Center
We The People
Missouri Coalition Against Common Core 2013