Yesterday at the presentation to the Joint Committee of the Senate and House Joseph Martineau, deputy superintendent of accountability services for the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) erred when he claimed that there was no federal review team overseeing SMARTER tests. According to a report by Gongwer, Martineau indicated that,
…there is not, as Mr. McMillin asserted, a federal government body that is overseeing development of the test or that has approval authority over its content. The federal grant, he said, requires only that the consortium develop a test.
McMillin’s assertion is correct. The U.S. Department of Education announced in March of 2013 a technical review for the Consortia of States developing Next-Generation Assessment systems. Here is an excerpt from the website,
“PARCC and Smarter Balanced are now past the halfway mark of their four-year grants – the Technical Review will help the Department support their work by analyzing their progress meeting the requirements laid out in the Race to the Top Assessment program and identifying how we can better partner with the consortia during this critical development phase. The review will focus on two broad areas of assessment development: the consortium’s research confirming the validity of the assessment results and the consortium’s approach to developing items and tasks.”
The federal government should NOT be involved in overseeing any aspect of the SBAC or any assessment Michigan may eventually adopt. Michigan once had complete autonomy over its assessments. As a part of SBAC consortia we are reduced to a seat at the table with the feds as a “partner” in the development.
According to Rep. Lisa Posthumous Lyons, chair of the House Education Committee, more hearings with public testimony will be scheduled. We look forward to a correction to the record at the next hearing about the federal government’s involvement in the development of SBAC.
Please contact your legislators and let them know you oppose Common Core and the SBAC assessments.