The wait may be over for Arizona’s new Common Core assessment to replace the AIMS test in the much delayed and much anticipated adoption of the new statewide assessment for Arizona’s students. The Arizona Board of Education will meet in Executive session to review the procurement office’s recommendation for the new statewide assessment on October 27, 2014. They are then scheduled to meet in a special session on November 3, 2014 to officially select the recommended statewide assessment.
The new assessment results will be used to satisfy graduation requirements for Arizona students, to determine individual school performance by assigning report card grades, and will be linked to Arizona teacher job evaluations.
The new assessment contract will be awarded to one of the following six finalists:
- Data Recognition Corporation
- CTD McGraw Hill
- American Institutes for Research (AIR)
- ACT Inc.
- Measure Progress
- NCS Pearson Inc.
As I reported in an earlier article, “The Fix is in”, there are many people in our Department of Education who for four years served as state leads for the Pearson/PARCC testing group giving them a decided advantage over any other testing company being considered.
The Pearson/PARCC group was also given exclusive access to our state’s children to conduct “field tests” on their assessment where they used student results to improve their assessment. No other testing company being considered for our statewide assessment had this access.
It is noted that during both meetings the Arizona Board of Education may meet in Executive session away from public view to review “confidential” information regarding the new assessment company. This way they can use “confidentiality” excuse to keep the selection of our state’s new assessment away from public view.
Let’s hope the Board of Education explains the selection process and releases the names of the selection committee members. No one from the AZ Department of Education who was involved in any way with Pearson/PARCC should have been permitted to participate in the selection process due to their obvious conflict of interest.
Let’s also hope there are many people demanding sunshine regarding the assessment selection at both meetings.
Brad McQueen is a former Common Core insider and current public school teacher in Tucson, Arizona and is the author of the anti-Common Core book “The Cult of Common Core”. Connect with Brad at email@example.com