The following is a “MUST READ” column for Connecticut’s parents and taxpayers.
In fact, it should be mandatory reading for Connecticut’s local school board members, superintendents, principals and all of the state’s local school officials.
So how much will the unfair and discriminatory Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test cost Connecticut taxpayers?
It turns out that no one knows for sure, or if they do, they definitely aren’t telling!
Governor Malloy won’t give a number, nor will his political appointees on the State Board of Education.
State Legislators haven’t been told, nor have local cities and towns.
But starting in just over a month, every public school in Connecticut will be forced to stop teaching and start giving the Common Core Smarter Balanced Consortium SBAC test.
And not only will school districts have to put aside instructional time and give the Common Core SBAC test this year, but they will have to do it next year, and the year after, and the year after that, and every single year until this nonsense stops and the state’s elected officials finally have the courage to stand up and put an end to the Common Core test scam that is designed to intentionally judge the vast majority of Connecticut’s public school children as failures.
While most of Connecticut’s local school boards and officials are remaining quiet about this disaster, in California it is a whole different story.
In California (and in many parts of New York), local school boards and school leaders have had enough and are pushing back against the Corporate Education Reform Industry’s agenda of turning public schools into little more than testing factories.
In California, local districts have even gone so far as to bring a class-action lawsuit to force the State of California to pay for the unfunded mandate called the Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium SBAC test.
Today, the nation’s leading public education advocate, Diane Ravitch, writes about the lawsuit in a post entitled, “California: Districts Object to $1 Billion for Common Core Testing.”
According to media reports, the Santa Ana Unified School District of Orange County calculates that shifting from the previous paper tests to the new Common Core SBAC test “will cost the district about $12 million, including 8.1 million for new computers, $3.3 million for additional internet bandwidth and other costs associated with “accessories and training.”
The total cost of implementing the Common Core SBAC Test — after the State of California has already allocated more than $1.25 billion for the Common Core testing system – is estimated to be at least $1 billion annually for the state’s school districts.
Of course, when confronted with the news, in a statement similar to what we’d likely hear from the Malloy administration, “a spokesman for the [California] Department of Finance declined to comment because officials are reviewing the claim.”
Note that the projected $1 billion additional burden on local school districts in California COMES AFTER California State Government allocated $1.25 billion to districts in one-time funds to help pay for classroom changes needed to implement the Common Core standards and Common Core SBAC Testing program.
The Orange County Register newspaper adds that the state provided another $26.7 million in state funds last year for high-speed internet access at schools with the highest needs and, “The governor’s latest budget proposal for next year adds $100 million for internet needs.”
However, here in Connecticut, relatively small amounts of state money have been allocated to help the state’s local school districts pay for the tremendous costs associated with ramping up and implementing the Common Core SBAC testing scheme.
Rather than spending their time and lobbying funds cheering on Governor Malloy and his corporate education reform industry agenda, perhaps the publicly funded Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) and the publicly funded Connecticut Association of School Superintendents (CAPSS) should stop taking positions that directly undermine their own members – Connecticut’s local school boards and superintendents – and start talking about legal and legislative action to force the State of Connecticut to fund this unfunded mandate or postpone the testing debacle until proper funding is provided.
While it is true that Connecticut may not want to follow California’s lead on all things, it sure would be helpful if more of Connecticut’s local school districts and local school officials were following their colleagues in California (and other states like New York,) and standing up and fighting on behalf of their districts’ students, parents, teachers and taxpayers.
But NO – you want to know what the local taxpayer money that goes to CABE and CAPSS is being used for?
They are spending their time – and our money – joining the Corporate Education Reform Industry’s campaign to promote Malloy’s ant-public education agenda!
“A coalition of six of the state’s leading education and business groups – CAPSS, CAS, CABE, CBIA, CCER, CONNCAN – urge legislators not to back down from key pillars of last year’s education reform law”
“This prompted the Big Six – a group composed of six education and business organizations – to urge lawmakers to protect progress made last year for Connecticut children by continuing to invest education reforms…”
“With the release of the Big 6’s Statement of Principles and Policy Recommendations, the coalition expects elected officials to keep education improvement efforts a priority during Legislative Session.
The Big 6 coalition represents key stakeholders and perspectives from the state’s leading education and business groups and continues to be united in a shared commitment to pursue systemic improvement in the state’s public schools so that every child gets an excellent public education.
Our partnership includes the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS), the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER).”
Interestingly none of the priorities pushed by the BIG SIX includes being honest with Connecticut’s students, parents, teachers and taxpayers about the real cost of these “initiatives” or the fact that much of those unnecessary costs will be dumped on the backs of Connecticut’s local property taxpayers.
You can read more about the Big Six in any number of commentary piece written by fellow education advocates, but a good place to start is with Sarah Darer Littman piece that was published in CT Newsjunkie and entitled, “Legislate Based On Research, Not Hyperbole.”