And Missouri is Paying $4.2 Million to Stay in Smarter Balanced…”Why”?
HB1490 allows Missouri to write Missouri standards for Missouri students by Missouri residents. However, this process will take time and for the 2014-15 school year, students and schools will be piloting the Smarter Balanced Assessments that won’t count for much. This piloting won’t affect district accreditation or a teacher’s evaluation. From HB1490, http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills141/billpdf/truly/HB1490T.PDF:
We now have the freedom to create our own standards and modify as necessary, something impossible in the SBAC. We can now create standards as intended in the state Constitution. The educational non-governmental organizations represented by Missouri School Leaders (Affiliated members of the MO School Administrators Coalition including MASA, MAESP, MASSP, MOASBO, MARE, MUSIC, MO-CASE, MO K-8, and MSHSAA.) apparently haven’t gotten that message yet:
And what does Missouri get for its SBAC dues? Not much in the transparency department. From a March 2013 post, Common Core Adoption/Implementation. “This is the Hotel California that Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia Built”:
Think of Common Core standards and adoption this way. States can check in but they can never leave. (At least not without the approval of the Federal Government). Here’s how CCSS evolved:
A contractor contacts you and says he will you build you a house in a subdivision of other homes. He will give you $100,000 toward the construction, but he will build the house of his dreams, not yours. He promises it will be a mansion and the best on the market. It will be just as beautiful and quality constructed as the other homes in the subdivision. He can’t show you a blueprint and can’t give you an idea of your final cost, but trust him. It will be great.
You also don’t know his credentials and his subcontractors but you decide his promise of giving you some money toward the initial construction is worth a gamble as you have been led to believe your living situation is dire and his offer holds the promise of a better home. The meeting between all the construction vendors are held in secret and you don’t have an idea of how big the house will be, what it will look like or if it suits your living style, but again, you have signed the MOU/contract so these decisions are out of your hands.
The contractor (SBAC) Missouri uses operates in this manner. From heartland.org:
Multiply just one membership fee by 46 participating states for a minimum of $736,000 in tax dollars the CCSSO receives each year for an initiative reshaping nearly every textbook, replacing nearly all state tests, overhauling teacher training nationwide, providing the basis to measure teachers, and creating nationwide data repositories for student grades, behavior, attendance, and more.
Despite this monumental impact and tax sponsorship, CCSSO activities are largely hidden to taxpayers because it is a nongovernmental nonprofit. This means its meetings and paperwork are not subject to open records laws that let the public find what their money is funding.
…CCSSO and NGA are member organizations for which states pay dues, like the American Legislative Exchange Council, which the left routinely vilifies, said Emmett McGroarty, director of the American Principles Project’s child rights initiative.
NGA would not release member dues information to APP, he said. CCSSO did give basic information about membership costs, but not about what specific states paid.
States have historically created education standards in public meetings, with related documents also a matter of public record, Allison noted.
“The state is outsourcing a core state function to an outside organization that is then outsourcing to other organizations, and you can’t have the parental and legislator input you normally should,” Allison said. “Education is the future, and I do think people have the right to know who is writing the curriculum.”
Why is this Missouri NGO supporting paying $4.2 Million to an outside organization that outsources to other organizations and taxpayers have no information on how that money is being spent…for PUBLIC education? Future SBAC costs are unknown at this time.