Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Following up on declining support . . .

Adding to my last post on the Common Core would be this report that I learned about at done by Whiteboard Advisers measuring the year-to-year level of support for a number of education issues including the Common Core. Information for the report comes from "policy insiders", described below in their language.

Who Are The Insiders?
Influential leaders who are shaping federal education reform, including individuals who have or are currently serving as key policy and political “insiders,” such as: • Current and former White House and U.S. Department of Education leaders;
• Current and former Congressional staff;
• State education leaders including state school chiefs and former governors; and
• Leaders of major education organizations, think tanks and other key influentials.

There are two sections of the report related to Common Core.  The chart below captures one set of information from these key stakeholders on the shifting support for Common Core over a seven month period of time.  Of particular interest to me is the State Education category that includes legislators showing a decline in the Strong and Very Strong range from 44% to 24% and a growing number that are neutral.  This is a key category as this group has a significant influence on the final decision that states will make.

The second report concerns the status of the two testing consortia developing tests aligned with the Common Core Standards.  The consortia are the SBAC and PARCC.  Our state belongs to the SBAC that had a significantly favorable shift from May to June of this year while PARCC broke a four month declining trend.  Based on this report that is similar to posts I have been seeing we are aligned with the organization best positioned for success.

Below are two comments included in the report.

“If you had to bet it all, SBAC would be the bet at this point but they still haven't proven they can deliver everything and the recently released questions are fine but not all that different from what's on some standardized tests now so they may face a ‘let down’ problem.”

“Smarter Balanced is full of bad ideas competently organized, PARCC replete with good ideas incompetently managed.”

None of this information creates a comfort level for the future considering the amount of time and resources we are devoting to this work.  We need to follow these "policy insiders" as they make predictions on the fate of this initiative that so many have embraced as a component of "fixing" our broken public school system.

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