Education activists have been speaking out and pushing back against the misguided Common Core State Standards and the flawed Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) statewide test protocol for several years now, as they have become more aware of the billionaire-driven, media-complicit, and politically-entrenched “corporate education reform” agenda.
The release of Connecticut’s teacher evaluation results in a school-funding trial has revealed that only 1 percent of teachers were evaluated as either “below standard” or “developing.” Recently, a CT Mirror story covered a discussion among members of the Connecticut Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (PEAC) about whether and how to amend the teacher evaluation process. In that story, Connecticut unions represented that the inclusion of a state assessment in the evaluation process is unfair to teachers. But, as a former teacher, principal, and superintendent, and a father of six Connecticut children—it strikes me as somewhat obvious that, quite to the contrary, these results indicate a strong, existing bias in favor of protecting teachers from data.
There is no rational explanation to support SB 175, a newly-proposed bill with the innocuous title “An Act Concerning Recommendations of the Department of Education”. There is no excuse for elected officials to take away a citizen’s right to peacefully protest and dissent. Vote NO on SB 175!
Last year, hundreds of 11th-grade students across Connecticut refused to take the mandated SBAC test. Knowing that they had no control over independent-minded 11th-graders, the governor and State Department of Education sought a waiver from Washington, D.C., for permission to offer what they hoped would be a more palatable test: the SAT. It is a test many high school students would have been taking eventually in order to meet some college admission expectations. Now, nearly a year later, another group of high school juniors are faced with making the decision to either take the test or opt-out.
When scores from Connecticut’s new statewide test, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), are released to the public later this month, Connecticut districts, school leaders, community members and families will have a more accurate representation of where our children are with regards to their college and career readiness. As a former educator and Connecticut public school student, I know all too well the importance of standards that effectively prepare for life beyond high school.
Until recent developments, we haven’t had sufficient high-quality data about public education. Is it any surprise that our education system is less than optimal? In Connecticut, we have the widest achievement gap in the nation. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test is an advanced, computer-based assessment that will provide us with the opportunity to collect the most refined student achievement data we’ve ever seen.