An online resource created by the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market think tank, provides citizens with valuable information that makes it easier to connect with their political representatives in Frankfort.
New assessments Kentucky is betting on are far from a done deal
“If you think focus is a good thing, the Common Core is probably not taking us there.”
Quoted from: Andrew Porter
George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education, University of Pennsylvania
Also a former member of Kentucky’s National Technical Advisory Panel on Assessment and Accountability
The Brookings Institution hosted a conference on October 28, 2010 about the Common Core State Standards and the two national efforts to create uniform tests to assess student performance in all states against those new standards.
As you may recall, Kentucky rushed to adopt the Common Core State Standards early in 2010 – before they were even finalized – in a failed attempt to win Race to the Top money.
I’m still going through the various PowerPoints, speeches and papers from the conference, but it is clear that the proposals for the new Common Core State Assessments are far from complete, required technology does not currently exist and there could be some significant problems ahead.
Andy Porter’s comment above, for example, could imply the Common Core State Assessments are at odds with the intent behind Kentucky’s Senate Bill 1 from 2009. That bill requires a deeper and more focused curriculum to get away from the ineffective “mile wide, inch deep” curricular coverage we have had since KERA was enacted.
Have Kentucky’s educators signed on to a program that won’t comply with SB-1? Stay tuned.
Other speakers besides Porter at the Brookings event included:
Professor of Educational Measurement and Evaluation
University of North Carolina
Vice President and Chief Scientist
American Institutes for Research
Special Assistant to President Obama for Education
White House Domestic Policy Council
Deputy Commissioner, Florida Department of Education
PARCC (One of the consortia developing new Common Core Assessments)
Assistant Superintendent, Washington State Department of Education
SMARTER (The other consortium working on the new assessments)
Note: This link will give you access to the individual speakers’ PowerPoints and papers along with a link to the full audio recording of the conference.
I’m still going through the audio, but here are the approximate start and end times for the various speakers:
3:50 Greg Cizek starts
Cizek in particular points out a number of serious concerns about the missing pieces in the Common Core program.
18:56 Cizek ends
19:33 Andy Porter starts
29:19 (Porter Quote) “If you think focus is a good thing, the Common Core is probably not taking us there.”
36:18 Porter ends
36:42 Gary Phillips starts
49:27 Phillips ends
49:46 Kris Ellington starts
66:48 Ellington ends
67:15 Joe Willhoft starts
79:16 Willhoft ends
79:29 Roberto Rodriguez starts
93:53 Rodriguez ends
Also of interest, as she mentions two other efforts under way to create new assessments for severely learning disabled:
94:31 Statement by Eilena Hern (this may not be the correct spelling of her name) starts
95:49 End Hern’s comments
I think you will pick up some interesting information from this conference. I hope all the people working on the Common Core Standards and Assessments in Kentucky pay some attention.
Jim Waters, vice president of policy and communications for the Bluegrass Institute, will join host Leland Conway tomorrow for Election Night coverage on Lexington’s NewsRadio 630 WLAP-AM from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (eastern)
Waters will join a team analyzing on the meaning of the election results for future critical public policy issues in Kentucky.
Click here to listen live.
Collecting and publicizing this information is one of the requirements for all states that accepted part of the $48.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, which is a part of the federal stimulus law. The idea is to increase public transparency concerning the performance of school staff.
But, while other states like California are already publicly releasing similar evaluation data for individual teachers, don’t look for that to happen here.
You will get to see something like a checklist that is used for the evaluation, and maybe some overall generalizations about performance, but forget about finding out if your own child’s teacher is one of the best, or worst, in the school. Likewise, you won’t learn a thing about the performance of individual principals.
You see, after 20 years of KERA, state educators don’t have any confidence in these obviously critical evaluations. State educators don’t think the results are going to be accurate enough to allow the public to learn if their teachers and principals are good, or not.
Forget about calling this failure to develop a sound evaluation system a “Novice” performance. This is an outright terrible failure to develop an open, accountable process that would insure all children in this state have decent teachers.
Hat tip to Holly Carter for finding the source article.
When cap-and-trade legislation regulating carbon emissions stalled in Congress, Kentuckians breathed a sigh of relief. But that collective sigh may have been a little premature. If the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has its way, cap and trade may not be fatally poisoned after all.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) released a paper this week detailing how the EPA is working to enforce greenhouse gas regulation under the Clean Air Act. The EPA cites two current programs as granting the authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
As the EPA works to usurp the law through regulations, what could this mean for the Bluegrass State?
Cap-and-trade regulations would be devastating for Kentucky’s economy. As the third-largest producer of coal in the U.S. thousands of Kentuckians would lose their jobs and energy costs would skyrocket in the Bluegrass State.
The federal government is finding ways – with or without the votes in Congress – to implement its extreme and devastating environmental regulations. In doing so, it also threatens Kentucky’s way of life.
The Northern Kentucky Water District wants a 25 percent rate hike to satisfy EPA’s absurd clean-water regulations. Instead, since this is another one of Washington’s unfunded mandates, the Public Service Commission should deny the request while Attorney General Jack Conway joins 15 other states to either non-comply with the federal order or to intercept federal funds to help pay for this environmental lunacy.
Click here to read the latest Bluegrass Beacon.