Source: EdSource

Students at Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland taking computer based tests.

The State Board of Education on Wednesday awarded the Educational Testing Service a three-year, $240 million contract to administer the state’s standardized tests, despite a competitor’s call for reopening a bidding process that it called flawed and “arbitrary.”

ETS has run the state’s testing system for 13 years and was the choice of the staff of the state Department of Education and two panels of reviewers. But Pearson School, the lowest of the three bidders with a $206 million bid, protested after the state board in March gave ETS tentative approval on the condition that ETS revise its bid to replicate aspects of Pearson’s plan involving teacher training. Board members called for the involvement, “to the greatest extent possible,” of teachers in scoring the next generation of tests, at no additional cost.

A series of recent breakdowns and technical snafus with online tests in other states (see here, here and here) underscore the importance of contracting with a reliable, experienced testing company. Along with providing the software to deliver the state’s tests, the contractor responds to problems from more than a thousand districts and charter schools, oversees test scoring and delivers the results to districts and schools.

The contract with ETS will be largest awarded by the state Department of Education. The state was not required to take the lowest bid under the form of bidding that was used, and it had authority to negotiate contract changes with a preferred bidder. That’s what a team of negotiators did over three days last month, said Keric Ashley, state deputy superintendent of the District, School, and Innovation division of the Department of Education. The result was a number of changes that improved the contract, including better test security, a quicker reporting time of test results to districts, and parent guides in five languages, he told the state board. Based on Pearson’s approach, there also will be more extensive training and better hourly rates for scorers who are California teachers, he said.

But copying a significant part of another bidder’s proposal is “unprecedented in public procurements at virtually any level – federal or state,” wrote Douglas Kubach, president of Pearson School, a Minnesota-based division of Pearson, the world’s largest education publishing and consulting company, in a March 30 letter to the state board. Kubach called on the state board to begin the bidding again. Reviewers gave ETS a higher score, yet the state board instructed negotiators to adopt Pearson’s model – “unavoidably an admission (by the state board) that its scoring was significantly flawed,” he wrote.

ETS will continue to handle the administration and scoring of the new online tests, including the Smarter Balanced English language arts and math tests in the Common Core State Standards, which debuted this spring, and the yet-to-be developed Next Generation Science Standards. The tests feature more sophisticated performance tasks, requiring students to write essays and show their work. Individual scorers will grade these portions of the test.

Pearson’s proposal promised professional development for California teachers in these tasks through county offices of education. It said it would hire WestEd, the San Francisco-based nonprofit research and development organization that is developing Common Core and new science curricula, to lead the trainings. The proposal said it would increase the number of California teachers as test scorers by paying them $17 to $19 per hour.

Patricia Rucker, who works as a lobbyist for the California Teachers Association, called $20 per hour “insufficient” and predicted that fewer than half of the scorers will end up being teachers.

For this year’s initial Smarter Balanced tests, ETS is paying only $13 per hour to scorers. The state reports that only 10 percent of the scorers will be California educators, and not all of those will be certificated teachers.

In its revised bid, ETS said it will hold summer institutes and weekend trainings for teachers and would pay California certificated teachers $20 per hour to be trained in and score the tests. Ashley acknowledged that’s less than teachers earn per hour, but the primary benefit, he said, would be the knowledge that teachers would gain in both the end-of-the-year tests and the interim assessments that teachers would give during the year.

However, board member Patricia Rucker, who works as a lobbyist for the California Teachers Association, called $20 per hour “insufficient” and predicted that fewer than half of the scorers will end up being teachers. Teachers “carry the greatest burden to see that students are prepared and have the greatest stake” in the test results, and yet still will not be not the primary focus of the recruitment strategy for scorers, she said.

During public testimony, Doug McRae, a retired specialist in assessments who did work for both ETS and Pearson during his career, said that ETS failed to match Pearson’s commitment to train teachers and did not specify how it would pay for the professional development it promised. Giving ETS the contract, McRae said, would be “an insult to a fair, open, competitive process, as well as an insult to California public schools and taxpayers by opting for an inferior submission at a far higher price.”

But board members Sue Burr and Rucker praised Ashley and the negotiators for responding to the state board’s concerns. And one of the reviewers of the bids, Roger Yoho, assessment and accountability director of Corona-Norco Unified, said the 10-day process was thorough and professionally done. He supported the choice of ETS.

ETS has handled the rollout of the Smarter Balanced tests, which 3.2 million students in California are now taking. Ashley said that, unlike significant outages and technical problems in other states, testing in California has gone smoothly for the most part. Susan Green, director of assessments for San Juan Unified, told board members that online testing has gone well in her district. “Changing the contract could put a halt to the progress we have made so far,” she said. “ETS has met our need.”


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  1. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    If there is any question as to who is correct, Ze've or TheMorrigan, just read the latest article this morning about outgoing CTA head, Dean Vogel. He guilelessly makes the case, in so may words, for how bad policy and implementation hamstrings the standards, the Common Core, of which he is fully supportive, though most of his teachers aren't. Strangely, he claims that all the policy people are lining up, the Gov, SBE, … Read More

    If there is any question as to who is correct, Ze’ve or TheMorrigan, just read the latest article this morning about outgoing CTA head, Dean Vogel. He guilelessly makes the case, in so may words, for how bad policy and implementation hamstrings the standards, the Common Core, of which he is fully supportive, though most of his teachers aren’t. Strangely, he claims that all the policy people are lining up, the Gov, SBE, SSPI, legislature, yet with all the ducks in a row the implementation of CCSS is a mess. So Ze’ev is clearly correct, the standards without the implementation policy are useless and more than that- destructive. In the meantime, what does Mr. Vogel advise? Patience. Tell that to all the students who have to put up with this stupidity.

    Replies

    • TheMorrigan 1 year ago1 year ago

      I suppose you have a point in a post hoc and hasty generalization sorta way. Wait a minute: Didn’t the strengths of the previous standards, as Zeev pointed out, develop in the same fashion? Huh. So much for consistency.

  2. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA)—The CAPA is an alternate performance assessment to the CSTs in English-language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science. It is an individually administered assessment for pupils with significant cognitive disabilities who have an individualized education program (IEP). California Modified Assessment (CMA)—The CMA is an alternate assessment to the CSTs in ELA, mathematics, and science for eligible pupils who have an IEP and meet the CMA eligibility criteria adopted by the SBE. California Standards Tests … Read More

    California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA)—The CAPA is an alternate performance assessment to the CSTs in English-language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science. It is an individually administered assessment for pupils with significant cognitive disabilities who have an individualized education program (IEP).
    California Modified Assessment (CMA)—The CMA is an alternate assessment to the CSTs in ELA, mathematics, and science for eligible pupils who have an IEP and meet the CMA eligibility criteria adopted by the SBE.
    California Standards Tests (CST)—The CSTs are criterion-referenced tests that assess the California content standards in ELA, mathematics, science, and history-social science.
    Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS)—The STS are criterion-referenced tests aligned to the California content standards for reading/language arts and mathematics.

  3. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    Gary, it's clear the opt-out movement sprouted wings when Common Core hit the national stage, despite your assertion of other roots. I don't doubt many in that movement also share a dislike for over-testing, however the vast majority did not opt-out on that account in the past. Your strategy is to hedge your bets, pushing CCSS and hoping the opt-out movement will destroy the testing regime at the same time. That is a foolish … Read More

    Gary, it’s clear the opt-out movement sprouted wings when Common Core hit the national stage, despite your assertion of other roots. I don’t doubt many in that movement also share a dislike for over-testing, however the vast majority did not opt-out on that account in the past. Your strategy is to hedge your bets, pushing CCSS and hoping the opt-out movement will destroy the testing regime at the same time. That is a foolish bet. There’s far more likelihood year-end standardized testing will survive and CCSS will fade. It’s pretty obvious what you’re doing – pushing big-government solutions. After all big government is public education’s best ally, in fact it is practically the same thing. You’re among those who taut national standards while praising local control, its polar opposite. Smile for the camera.

  4. Don 1 year ago1 year ago

    Thanks to Ze'ev for the context. I'd like to hear the affirmative rationale for ETS's selection by the SBE as opposed to only why Pearson didn't get the award. Without more info, it is hard to come away from this story with anything but a stench of corruption. Navigio, if California leaders are going to use NCLB as a rationale to disregard the California Constitution, then this brings into play the … Read More

    Thanks to Ze’ev for the context. I’d like to hear the affirmative rationale for ETS’s selection by the SBE as opposed to only why Pearson didn’t get the award. Without more info, it is hard to come away from this story with anything but a stench of corruption.

    Navigio, if California leaders are going to use NCLB as a rationale to disregard the California Constitution, then this brings into play the question of federal overreach and the 10th Amendment. But saying that NCLB is optional is a bit like saying an emergency appendectomy is optional. With Obama’s USDE holding states hostage with waivers and threats, states are hard pressed not to comply. This issue of paying for states mandates and its federal implication is the best example to date for why we do not need a federal education agency that can hand down unfunded mandates and create state constitutional issues by so doing. The fact that we have corrupt chicago-mafia style leadership that engages in crony capitalism of the worst sort doesn’t help.

    Replies

    • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

      Correction: ….why pearson should have received the contract.

  5. Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

    It is nice that John updates us on how SBE is spending our money, but it would have been even more helpful had he put the information in context of what we pay now. Until "yesterday" (2013-14) we paid about $57M every year for: -- Developing, Administering, and Scoring/Reporting CST in Math and ELA in grades 2-11 (10 grades, about 5 million students) -- Developing, Administering, and Scoring/Reporting CST in History (3 grades: Grade 8, World History (10) … Read More

    It is nice that John updates us on how SBE is spending our money, but it would have been even more helpful had he put the information in context of what we pay now.

    Until “yesterday” (2013-14) we paid about $57M every year for:

    — Developing, Administering, and Scoring/Reporting CST in Math and ELA in grades 2-11 (10 grades, about 5 million students)
    — Developing, Administering, and Scoring/Reporting CST in History (3 grades: Grade 8, World History (10) and US History (11)
    — Developing, Administering, and Scoring/Reporting CST in Science (3 grades) Plus End-of-Course tests in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Physics.
    — Developing, Administering, and Scoring/Reporting California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) for students with significant cognitive disability
    — Developing, Administering, and Scoring/Reporting Standards-based Test in Spanish (STS) for ELL students
    — Developing, Administering, and Scoring/Reporting California Modified Assessment (CMA) for students with moderate cognitive disabilities.
    — In fact, we even got for the same price a Norm-Referenced Tests administration and scoring/reporting until California legislature in its infinite wisdom decided it doesn’t care about it.

    Contrast this with what we get for the “new and improved” cost of $80M per year.
    — Administering, and Scoring/Reporting SBAC tests in math & ELA to 7 grades only (about 3.5 million students)
    — Developing, Administering, and Scoring/Reporting new science assessment (grades TBD)
    — No developing or administering assessment in History
    — Administering (and perhaps developing) Alternate Assessment (similar to CAPA)
    — Developing, Administering, and Scoring/Reporting Primary Language Assessment (similar to STS)

    Oh, and the number is not really $80M/year but rather $89.55M/year — we pay additional $9.55M every year to SBAC for the privilege of using their experimental and unvalidated test.

    In other words, we assess only 70% of the students we used to asses (3.5 million instead of 5), we offer no End-of-Course tests like before (Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Earth Science and US History), we have no test at all in history, we have no norm-referenced test, and we pay almost twice for it ($90M versus $57M).

    And it doesn’t include the cost of technology for the testing which comes to about $50 per tested student PER YEAR. So another $175M per year that pretends to be “invisible” because it is supposed to be swallowed by the school districts in their budget … until they — properly — sue Sacramento (http://4lakidsnews.blogspot.com/2015/01/is-smarter-balanced-unfunded-state.html )

    How is this for some context, John?

    Replies

    • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

      "The administration is expected to argue that the requirement for all students to be tested annually is a centerpiece of [NCLB] and that the state is simply carrying out federal law." Really? I expect there are many federal legislators that would love to know that state testing would immediately vanish if they were to let NCLB sunset. Regardless, participation is optional. It's the state that makes the initial decision to participate. If the costs outweigh the benefits, … Read More

      “The administration is expected to argue that the requirement for all students to be tested annually is a centerpiece of [NCLB] and that the state is simply carrying out federal law.”

      Really?
      I expect there are many federal legislators that would love to know that state testing would immediately vanish if they were to let NCLB sunset.
      Regardless, participation is optional. It’s the state that makes the initial decision to participate. If the costs outweigh the benefits, maybe they should reconsider..

    • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

      It is now widely recognized that there is a robust "opt out" of testing movement in the US, if not so robust in CA. The genisis of that movement is not centered in CCSS or the new assessments themselves, it is in the over-testing of students and misuse and abuse of tests data for high stakes proposes. To move to fewer state tests, but tests that include more performance based items is likely a good thing. … Read More

      It is now widely recognized that there is a robust “opt out” of testing movement in the US, if not so robust in CA. The genisis of that movement is not centered in CCSS or the new assessments themselves, it is in the over-testing of students and misuse and abuse of tests data for high stakes proposes.

      To move to fewer state tests, but tests that include more performance based items is likely a good thing. To go to matrix style testing (used in the NAEP), where even more intense performance based items could be included would be a better thing. Perhaps this can occur with the NGSS science tests and social science as well.

      It can practically be guaranteed that students will be getting “end of course” tests, just as they always have, administered by their classroom teachers. And recall that teacher made gets, and the grades that are based on them, are much better predictors of future academic success than even old standbys like the SAT and ACT.

      The previous tests administered by the state of CA were of the “low bid variety.” They were simplistic and gave an incomplete picture of student learning and were of little to no use to inform instruction. The SBE, in its conformation at that that time, knew that and went ahead anyway. They also understood that adopting the performance “scale” (basic, below basic, etc., etc.) would end up with many very good schools being unfairly labeled, in one way or another, as “low performing.” And they went ahead and did that too. Those tests were though, or so it was claimed, “valid and reliable.” But validity and reliability on lousy tests is not a very high bar.

      Again, the CASSP as well as CCSS remain a “tabula rasa” whose usefulness as instructional tools has yet to be positively identified in practical classroom application. Let’s hope this time they are useful and not just bludgeons to be used by the enemies of public education. It is certainly true that many inside and outside the educational community understood the previous standards and assessments had no positive uses. Time to move on.

      • Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

        "It is certainly true that many inside and outside the educational community understood the previous standards and assessments had no positive uses." For a change, allow me to agree with you, Gary. There were, indeed, many inside and outside educational community who "understood" that the previous standards and assessment had no positive uses. We can start with Delaine Eastin, our idiot SPI at the time. We can continue with professors at schools of education, whose majority consider content … Read More

        “It is certainly true that many inside and outside the educational community understood the previous standards and assessments had no positive uses.”

        For a change, allow me to agree with you, Gary.

        There were, indeed, many inside and outside educational community who “understood” that the previous standards and assessment had no positive uses.

        We can start with Delaine Eastin, our idiot SPI at the time. We can continue with professors at schools of education, whose majority consider content knowledge unimportant. And we must continue with our “educational leaders” such as CMC executives over the years, whose hatred to the 1997 Calif. math standards can be compared only to the Sunni-Shiaa relationship. And we must continue with many — but not all! – teacher union activists who hated them because they allowed passing judgement on teacher performance .. what an abominable thought!

        Now, all these people had their interests — their own pet philosophies, their interests in labor unions rather than in children, in their politics — as the reason to drive their hatred of clear and rigorous standards.

        But what about the students … you know, those little humans that seem to be just incidental to your philosophical and parochial interests?

        — What about the additional 115 thousands(!) of Calif. students *every year* proficient and advanced in Algebra 1 by grade 8 since those standards took place 8?
        — What about the additional 50 thousands of Calif. students who graduate each year having successfully completed Algebra 2?
        — What about 3-3.5x growth in successful Algebra 2 takers among Black, Latino, and low SES students (only 1.8x among White students) since those standards?
        — What about the 2.5-3x growth in successful Geometry takers among Black, Latino, and low SES students (only 1.5x among White students) since those standards?
        — What about 3x growth of successful Latino AP AB Calculus takers and 2x growth of Black AB Calc ((1.4x growth among White)?
        — What about 5.7x growth of successful Latino AP BC Calculus takers and 4.7x growth for Blacks (but only 2.1x for Whites)?

        And what about five-fold increase in Latino acceptance to CSU since those standards came to be, while their math remediation rate dropped from over 70% to less than 40%?

        Naah, you must be right. As those “many inside and outside the educational community understood” all this “had no positive uses.” After all, it is clear that for those leaders the success of the kids is not a “positive use.”

        • TheMorrigan 1 year ago1 year ago

          Zeev,

          Does your sarcasm address the previous standards directly or does it address the policies that surrounded but were clearly NOT the previous standards?

          Kinda seems like you are conflating them with your “Let’s Not Forget the Children” spiel because the standards themselves do not address changes in policies regarding requiring all 8th graders to take Algebra, nor do they address changes/new incentives with regard to A-G.

        • Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

          You can't separate the two. Standards without policies to support them are a dead letter on paper that nobody cares about. Policies without standards to operationalize them are a meaningless gibberish. You can't have a serious policy that "we expect all 8th graders take algebra" unless your K-7 standards are able in principle to prepare every willing child for algebra in 8. Conversely, you can't have standards that are aimed at "critical thinking" if they lack … Read More

          You can’t separate the two. Standards without policies to support them are a dead letter on paper that nobody cares about. Policies without standards to operationalize them are a meaningless gibberish.

          You can’t have a serious policy that “we expect all 8th graders take algebra” unless your K-7 standards are able in principle to prepare every willing child for algebra in 8. Conversely, you can’t have standards that are aimed at “critical thinking” if they lack deep instruction of factual knowledge. How, otherwise, would one distinguish between critical thinking over facts from critical thinking over rubbish? What would one “critically think” about?

          • TheMorrigan 1 year ago1 year ago

            You can separate the two and many of the policies had nothing to do with standards.

        • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

          Zeev:

          Don’t blame you for the frustration. Your 15 minutes is over.

          • Ann 1 year ago1 year ago

            Well since you are not censored for such a snarky comment, there are plenty of us that agree entirely with Zeev and Doug and can’t wait until you all lose in court and hopefully slink away with your tails tucked….forever.

            • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

              Well I’ve always been deeply appreciative of your highly constructive comments too, Ann.

    • Manuel 1 year ago1 year ago

      Well, I am shocked, shocked to find out that Zeev believes that the CSTs were norm-referenced tests. The CDE insisted that they were criterion-referenced tests. And they still insist that since that document is still available: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ai/documents/keyelements0504.pdf And IIRC, Doug also insisted that they were criterion-referenced tests and that it was purely a coincidence that the massaged scaled scores looked like bell curves. Never mind that the raw scores don't look like that at all, but darn … Read More

      Well, I am shocked, shocked to find out that Zeev believes that the CSTs were norm-referenced tests.

      The CDE insisted that they were criterion-referenced tests. And they still insist that since that document is still available: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ai/documents/keyelements0504.pdf

      And IIRC, Doug also insisted that they were criterion-referenced tests and that it was purely a coincidence that the massaged scaled scores looked like bell curves. Never mind that the raw scores don’t look like that at all, but darn it, statisticians need to have their Gaussians ’cause, you know, if you only have a hammer and all that!

      Isn’t it interesting that we now find out now, courtesy of Zeev, who must know what he is talking about, that the CSTs were really norm-referenced tests as I argued way back when?

      • Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

        I am not sure where Manual picked up the mistaken notion that I believe CST were norm-referenced. I do not believe that, and I did not say it. All I said was that the $57 million per year covered that much more than the new contract at $90 million. That included the administration of an NRT in addition to the CST and various other tests. In the early years NRT was administered in all grades (2-11), later … Read More

        I am not sure where Manual picked up the mistaken notion that I believe CST were norm-referenced.

        I do not believe that, and I did not say it.

        All I said was that the $57 million per year covered that much more than the new contract at $90 million. That included the administration of an NRT in addition to the CST and various other tests. In the early years NRT was administered in all grades (2-11), later in only two grades (4 & 7, as I recall), and around 2009 the legislature, in its infinite wisdom, removed the NRT completely.

      • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

        Manuel: Interesting point you made there about whether the CSTs were criterion referenced or normed. Went right by me. Whatever the claims, they sure behaved like "normed." Let's deconstruct a few more of Zeev's assertions. There is the claim that it was "professors at schools of education" and "many--but not all!" teacher union activists that hated them [math standards] because they "allowed passing judgement on teacher performance." A lot of stuff going on with that one. Must have … Read More

        Manuel:

        Interesting point you made there about whether the CSTs were criterion referenced or normed. Went right by me. Whatever the claims, they sure behaved like “normed.”

        Let’s deconstruct a few more of Zeev’s assertions.

        There is the claim that it was “professors at schools of education” and “many–but not all!” teacher union activists that hated them [math standards] because they “allowed passing judgement on teacher performance.”

        A lot of stuff going on with that one. Must have come close to burning out the exclamation point key. Actually a great deal of animus towards the math standards was generated by a State Board member who hijacked the standards and handed them over to a UC professor to unilaterally edit them as he, personally, saw fit. This cut out any input by actual K-12 people, including real classroom educators that I worked with who thought the standards were instructionally inappropriate. Not to mention the inappropriate “process.”

        Zeev was apparently trying to be factitious when he said “passing judgment on teacher performance [was]..an abominable thought! (Another exclamation point!) Actually the National Research Council, ETS, RAND, and the National Statistical Association did think it was pretty awful. But what do they know compared to someone sitting in an office in Silicon Valley?
        And those education professors having learned opinions on educate issues. What is the world coming to?

        And then we get to one of the ultimate ironies, and Zeev is not alone in this act of hypocrisy, of people who have dedicated their lives to making money pointing their fingers at people who’ve spent their professional careers working in classrooms with kids and accusing the classroom folks of not putting kids’ interest first.

        It is pretty plain to see, even if you pay attention to articles just on this site, that CA does a very poor, even shameful job as a state looking after children’s interests whether in school or in families and communities. The major reason for this a lack of a state revenue stream, aka, poor tax revenues. There are those who have worked hard to increase the tax revenue stream (Prop 30), like teachers’ union activists, and those who work in every way to squelch any chance of CA (or the US) from generating revenues that might deal with the worst childhood poverty rate in the industrialized world (the US) and one of the worst child poverty rates in the US (CA). And the leaders of the “squelch” movement are certain conservative think tanks [sic] like the Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute, and the local Hoover Institution. Anyone around here associated with any of those ?

        So, who works in the best interest of children and who works for the “best” interest of the 1%? This is like certain member of the old Bush Administration who, to this day, accuses others of being weak on defense when they, when of age to serve, scrabbled to get five deferments. Hypocrisy or just case of cast-iron iron gall? Is there a difference?

        Then we have a bunch of stats about students taking more math classes and that is supposedly attributable to standards. Math is great. I’d be as impressed with kids taking more history, government, art, music, industrial arts. And because of the narrowing of the curriculum due to standards, testing, and (pseudo)accountability we know kids, particularly low SES kids, got a lot fewer of those classes. The standards,testing and accountability movement have had a dire impact on kids getting a well rounded education.

        Many who criticize the CCSS use the fact that it has no research base are right on target. There is no research that supports standards themselves having a causal relationship to improved learning. But, that goes for the old standards as well. It has, though, become an ingrained part of the unwise conventional political (if not educational) wisdom that schools need standards. So be it, but make them as flexible a possible and make them as instructionally and developmentally appropriate as possible. And there are questions about CCSS in this regard too.

        As to Hispanic academic success over the course of a couple of decades. One could attribute this to the normal progression of any immigrant group, both in education and economics. Much of it too, can be linked to CA’s commitment to ESL issues that began prior to standards. I am familiar with CDE, working through Migrant Ed, to do professional development in the mid 1980s. This continued with system wide training and certification in SDAIE/CLAD and then inclusion in credentialing programs. If anything federal civil rights statute was the driver of these changes, not standards.

        Yes, kids, for varying reasons not attributable to standards per se, have been doing well in the state contrary to much of the constant propaganda suggesting otherwise and that is due to all of those unionized teachers. Of course with that success has been an inability of the CSUs and UCs to accept them all. And that is due to underfunding that is almost assured of continuing if the anti-tax forces have their way. You out there Hoover Institution?

        • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

          Gary said - "Actually a great deal of animus towards the math standards was generated by a State Board member who hijacked the standards and handed them over to a UC professor to unilaterally edit them as he, personally, saw fit. This cut out any input by actual K-12 people, including real classroom educators...." Hum. Vaguely reminds me of Common Core - that part about cutting out the K-12 people,i.e., the educators... And that person at … Read More

          Gary said – “Actually a great deal of animus towards the math standards was generated by a State Board member who hijacked the standards and handed them over to a UC professor to unilaterally edit them as he, personally, saw fit. This cut out any input by actual K-12 people, including real classroom educators….”

          Hum. Vaguely reminds me of Common Core – that part about cutting out the K-12 people,i.e., the educators… And that person at UC… didn’t he make a comeback?

          Then there’s this comment – “Yes, kids, for varying reasons not attributable to standards per se, have been doing well in the state contrary to much of the constant propaganda suggesting otherwise and that is due to all of those unionized teachers.”

          I assume the ones that haven’t been doing well ( the other half) cannot be attributed to unionized teachers. That’s when poverty is to blame and the one percenters. You know, the left always need to have a strawman to heat up the debate, to rile up the populist crowd and to extract its pound of flesh.

          Oh, not to forget, i want to thank Gary for astutely recognizing that standards don’t really have much to do with doing well in school.

        • Zeev Wurman 1 year ago1 year ago

          I sometimes wonder, Gary, at your talent to put so much irrelevant non sequitur stuff and innuendos on top of so much disinformation in so few words. You must really have a talent! (an exclamation mark just for you). When I wrote that "professors at schools of education, whose majority consider content knowledge unimportant" I referred to well know surveys that found majority of ed-school profs ranking content knowledge as unimportant. I will be happy if … Read More

          I sometimes wonder, Gary, at your talent to put so much irrelevant non sequitur stuff and innuendos on top of so much disinformation in so few words. You must really have a talent! (an exclamation mark just for you).

          When I wrote that “professors at schools of education, whose majority consider content knowledge unimportant” I referred to well know surveys that found majority of ed-school profs ranking content knowledge as unimportant. I will be happy if you could show me wrong as this boggles one’s mind.

          When I wrote that “we must continue with many — but not all! – teacher union activists who hated them because they allowed passing judgement on teacher performance .. what an abominable thought!” I referred to people like you … and I’ll let the audience here be the judge … but I wanted to distinguish them from dedicated union activists such as Joe Nuñez that have helped so many California students over the years.

          Which really brings me down to the key issue. You continue to spout and rave against the “great right-wing conspiracy” (the Clintons are proud of you, Gary) but ignore the simple fact that under the previous standards the achievement of all California students rose very significantly in the high school, but that the minority students were particular beneficiaries of those standards. You can rave until blue in the face, but you can’t hide this truth. Yeah, “normal progression of any immigrant group” at twice and more rate of change than White students. Right. And how does this explain the success of Black Americans? And why we don’t see it elsewhere in the country?

          Yeah, I know. People like you believe it is all about the money.Money for more union dues, I guess.

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