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Come July 2017, UCLA Will No Longer Oversee Smarter Balanced

October 19, 2016

In February 2016, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) posted a Request for Information (RFI) in which it formally solicited advice on how it should proceed as a Common Core testing consortium.

The result of that PARCC RFI was 128-page response by a number of organizations, which I wrote about here.

One of the suggestions for PARCC’s future concerns its being overseen by the other Common Core consortium, Smarter Balanced. Interestingly, Smarter Balanced, which included its own advice in response to PARCC’s RFI, did not itself offer to oversee PARCC.

What Smarter Balanced offered in its advice for PARCC were details on how Smarter Balanced successfully operated as a consortium.

That is why it is surprising that  EdWeek’s Sean Cavanagh reports that Smarter Balanced will be seeking a new fiscal agent. Smarter Balanced has a contract with the University of California system, and UCLA has been serving as the Smarter Balanced fiscal agent. UCLA’s 3-year contract for this role expires on June 30, 2017.

On September 28, 2016, UCLA notified Smarter Balanced to inform the consortium that UCLA was not interested in continuing to oversee Smarter Balanced. Cavanagh reports that Smarter Balanced is in negotiations to seek another university in the University of California system to oversee Smarter Balanced.

UCLA notes that it will continue to “focus on scholarly work and new research in coordination” with Smarter Balanced, but UCLA will not run the consortium.

Of course, the very fact that Smarter Balanced will be transitioning to a new fiscal agent means that its future stability is in question.

So, America, we have two Common Core testing consortia, both of which face questionable stability– which also points to questionable sustainability.

Of course, PARCC and Smarter Balanced both need states as consortium members in order to survive.

It remains to be seen how states will respond to the fact that both PARCC and Smarter Balanced are experiencing their own internal struggles.

dear john 2


Released July 2016– Book Three:

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

school choice cover  (Click image to enlarge)

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of both A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

  1. Sometimes things can turn out better than expected. And also yesterday the LAUSD BoE tossed out the three Gulen Magnolia Charter Schools that, despite Caprice Young who is former head of CCSA running them, still did not correct their financial problems after at least two audits in the past two years. AND the CEO of El Camino Charter HS, with some of his internal supporters, all resigned as of today.

    Maybe Carol Burris’s articles on California charters published by the WaPo is making a dent.

  2. Lyn permalink

    Common Core needs to be completely gone. We need to improve our neighborhoods by sending our kids to their neighborhood schools. If there’s something wrong, fix it!Don’t give up on it! At most, parents may be allowed to choose which school their child goes to within their own district if there is room in the school for that child.Politicians need to get out of education. They have no clue what’s really going on, and they’re ruining it!

  3. LA Educator permalink

    We had excellent National Board for Professional Teaching Standards developed through input from teachers, parents, & students over two decades from 1993 until 2011 when NBPTS flushed those legitimate standards to adopt the pro-CCSS suggestions of Bill Gates when he opened his wallet real wide. We could start a return to legitimacy in teaching standards by going back to those standards which were actually developed within the learning communities they govern for a good start in the right direction. Public education was approaching its pinnacle of success when CCSS was introduced to muddy everything up.

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