Yesterday, [May 14, 2014], I introduced you to the “Improving Student Learning at Scale” [ISLS] grant and the government and state officials who are throwing themselves at the opportunity to attain said grant.
Today, we will take a deeper look into the ISLS grant and its ties to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
From first page of section one [Overview: Current Status of CCSS Implementation] of the August 21, 2013 Proposal for Improving Student Learning at Scale: A Collaborative Policy Project we can see that the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) and Governor Mead desire to reform Wyoming schools using the CCSS as a “foundation”.
This section also goes over the transition of Proficiency Assessments of Wyoming Students (PAWS) and Student Assessment of Writing Skills (SAWS) to cover the CCSS, and their plan to have the transition completed by 2015.
The final paragraph address the “significant content shift” and the new scale and cut scores that will accompany it. The WDE “expects that there will be an overall decline in proficiency rates in 2014.”
Are they saying that Wyoming children can’t adjust to “higher” standards?
The second page of the Overview: Current Status of CCSS Implementation,goes over the support of transitioning to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of two testing consortia used to test the Common Core Standards. It then goes into blaming the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Cindy Hill, for most of the delays concerning the implementation of the CCSS because of her lack of support.
But the crowning jewel of this page, is the part where they address the thorn in their side, known as “naysayers”. Yes, you and I were mentioned in this proposal. Well, let’s see what they had to say about us, shall we?
“Like many other states, grassroots efforts have emerged to stop all implementation and funding of work related to the CCSS, including professional development and assessments. These naysayer groups are very vocal, holding public meetings and rallies intended to build support to withdraw from CCSS. These groups host Facebook pages and other websites dedicated to anti-CCSS sentiment in Wyoming. As a result, much of the focus at WDE has been addressing misinformation related to the CCSS rather than the development of a comprehensive development strategy.”
The WDE blames you and I, for not being able to get Common Core properly implemented.
Congratulations, keep it up! They may ignore us, but they hear us, they are afraid of us, and they should be. Informed voters threatened to upset the apple cart, and overturned apple carts can lead to regime changes.
The rest of the second page is full of more whining and excuses… It looks like it isn’t the schools that need the accountability systems…
I said previously that there is MUCH more to come, and that is still true. Be prepared to get a daily dose of Common Core corruption in the Cowboy state in the coming weeks.
Most importantly keep up the good work, keep fighting the good fight, remain vigilant, stay informed, and continue to be a source of irritation to those who seek to thwart your educational freedoms.