Action Item and Recap of HCR 11

Action Item:  Call the Government Operations Committee members (names and numbers below) and let them know you want them to “do their job” and hold public hearings to discuss the serious issues with Common Core and HCR 11 and that you want an amendment to REMOVE Michigan  from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia.

Legislative Recap of HCR 11 and why we need to defeat or amend HCR 11 NOW.

Hoping to meet the October 1 deadline for the new budget year, the Michigan House passed House Concurrent Reolution No. 11 authorizing funding on September 26  The resolution was then sent to the Senate for approval.  Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville  didn’t appear to be in any hurry to move toward passing the resolution before the deadline,

Richardville said that he was not concerned about the effect the October 1 deadline might have on efforts to implement the standards and continue the state’s work in a national group developing tests based on the standards.

“We’re going to do our job the way we see fit,” Richardville said. “And I’ve heard about these panic things before, but actually I did have a talk with some of the folks in the department and don’t believe that it’s a risk at all.”

Yesterday October 2, the Michigan Senate held a joint committee hearing to discuss Common Core but there was little discussion of the resolution.  In fact, when Senator Colbeck asked if the resolution was “non-binding” he was told that the committee was there to discuss Common Core and not the resolution.   (Video will be posted when available.)

However, the resolution is the “affirmative action”  Governor Snyder, the Michigan Department of Education, and the State School Board want passed to continue the funding and implementation of Common Core.   After 3 hours of testimony on Common Core the meeting was adjourned.  No action was taken on the resolution.   Oddly, Senator Majority Leader Richardville abruptly moved the resolution to the Senate Government Operations Committee this morning.    The committee is chaired by Senator Richardville.   Education or Appropriations seemed a better fit because HCR 11 is a resolution to restore education funding for Common Core.

Why a resolution on education funding would be referred to the Government Operations Committee is confusing to me but that’s where it currently sits.   The Government Operations Committee typically meets on Tuesdays at 1 PM.   I could not confirm if the committee will take the resolution up in their next meeting.   The members of the committee must know that HCR 11 is NOT acceptable and we MUST leave SBAC.

1.   HCR 11 fails to remove Michigan from Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia (SBAC). The SBAC assessments are being funded and developed with federal oversight.   The Federal Department of Ed. considers itself a “partner’ with the consortia.  The resolution finds no constitutional role for federal involvement in education   If there is not federal involvement in education then leaving SBAC must be in the resolution.

2. HCR 11 puts  Michigan school officials in conflict with the SBAC agreement.   As a governing state in SBAC, Michigan is contractually required to develop an interoperability database and  share student-level data with the federal government or third-parties.

3.  HCR 11 does not secure student-level data.  Michigan could face stiff federal consequences if the break the SBAC agreement.  Given that the agreement required to share student data, the only way to insure privacy is to leave SBAC and develop our own assessments.

4.  HCR 11 does not protect local control of education.  The SBAC allows Michigan to have ONE vote among a multi-state consortia.  Our vote is further minimized with federal involvement. With this resolution we trade complete control of our standards and assessments for meager one vote.

Unless Michigan lawmakers resolve to get out of the Smarter Balanced Assessments and retain control of the tests and data, any resolution passed out of the Senate will be incomplete and unacceptable.

Here are the Committee members and their phone numbers:  CALL NOW!

The opposition is shocked and frustrated that we have gotten this far.  We are where we are because the grassroots is making a difference.  YOU are making a difference.   Thank you!

P.S.  And when you call Senator Richardville’s office let him know you noticed and did not like the way he unilaterally moved HCR 11 out of Appropriations and into HIS committee.