I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Janet Barresi Makes Jeb! Bush Cry

We simply cannot afford to wait any longer on the Common Core assessments! Jeb! Bush is leading the charge, and he will simply not tolerate delays! Randi Weingarten is wrong to attack the Common Core (even though she never did), and we should no longer put up with her and the other lovers of the status quo incessantly whining that we are not ready! Full speed ahead! All of Jeb!'s Chiefs For Change agree!

Er... don't they?
State Superintendent Janet Barresi announced Monday that she is withdrawing Oklahoma from testing through a consortium of 20 or so other states to coincide with the new Common Core curriculum standards. 
That would be the very same Janet Barresi who, as a member of Jeb!'s Chief For Change, signed off on a letter to SecEd Arne Duncan that said:
The members of Chiefs for Change reject any calls for a moratorium on accountability. This position overstates the challenge and undervalues our educators. A one-size-fits-all suspension of accountability measures denies the unique circumstances each state faces. We will not relax or delay our urgency for creating better teacher, principal, school and district accountability systems as we implement more rigorous standards. That is a disservice to our students and would undermine the tremendous amount of preparation our states’ education agencies, districts, schools and educators have contributed to this multi-year effort. 
The Chiefs for Change states are prepared to thoughtfully manage the transition. We have participated in the development of the new assessments; put in place comprehensive plans to provide necessary professional development to educators; and our accountability systems are ready for this change. Over the last few years, each state has developed its own unique accountability model that is demanding in regard to academic outcomes but flexible, when necessary, with regards to changing processes. [emphasis mine]
So, uh, Superintendent Barresi: how's that "thoughtful management" coming?
Many educators and parents groups have been vocal in recent months about their concern about the additional hours of test-taking that would be involved in PARCC assessments.

Barresi said their concerns, along with her own about the technology readiness of the state’s public schools and higher anticipated costs, were her three primary reasons for backing out.

She said the vast majority of technical problems that public schools experienced with online testing this spring are proof that Oklahoma just does not yet have the capacity for the volume of online testing required for PARCC tests.

And she added, many schools don’t have the expertise or funds to improve connectivity, increase bandwith, and add enough more more devices to get caught up by 2014-15.

“If we move ahead with this, we are going to be asking the state to drink a milkshake using a cocktail straw,” Barresi said.

“If you look at what happened with testing this year — kids getting screen frozen, knocked off the test — those were technical issues that were from the districts’ end of things. (The testing vendor) crashed for two days because of server problems, but almost every bit of the rest of it was due to district issues. I’m not pointing fingers, but it is the reality.” [emphasis mine]
That's OK, Superintendent, you don't have to point fingers - I'll do it for you. You are the one at fault here. When the system came crashing down on the last administration of the state tests, you're the one who said:
I had zero involvement in the process from start to finish personally.
Maybe if you had a little more involvement, you'd have realized early on you weren't ready for this pie-in-the-sky, untested, unproven, unvetted system of "accountability."

But, like all of Jeb!'s Chiefs For Change, nothing is ever your fault. After all, you've learned from a member of America's leading blame-dodging family!

Not another screw up from my Chiefs!

Just tell her she's doin' a heckuva job, Jeb!

We sent the boys to private schools; we figured they weren't really cut out for a lot of testing...

ADDING: Right on cue, Coach Bob adds another Chiefs For Change fail to the pile:
There’s more associations.  Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education has designated 8 current state education bosses  as Chiefs for Change. Of the 22 states in PARCC, six are run by one of Bush’s Chiefs. The number of states  is actually 7 as Indiana is still part of PARCC. Of Bush’s 8 Chief’s states, only Maine is not part of PARCC. Past Florida commissioners, Eric Smith and Gerard Robinson have Chiefs emeritus status. Smith is on PARCC’s governing board
Pearson has been a corporate sponsor of Bush’s foundation for some time. The testing giant  bragged to potential investors in February this year that they had been awarded the contract for PARCC.
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a consortium of 23 states, awarded Pearson and Educational Testing Service (ETS) the contract to develop test items that will be part of the new English and mathematics assessments to be administered from the 2014-2015 school year. The assessments will be based on what students need to be ready for college and careers, and will measure and track their progress along the way
There was likely considerable PARCC-Pearson panic when Bennett was defeated last November in Indiana. As it turns out, there was no need for panic. Bennett’s role as PARCC’s fiscal agent never left him. He was appointed state education commissioner  by Florida’s Board of Education in December 2012 and didn’t leave his Indiana post until the next month.
Hey, it's all about the kids, amiright...


Fourth Generation Teacher said...

Oh, thank you for shining the national light on our Superindentist. She's positioning herself for re-election...trying to head off the Tea-Partiers, I fear. Keep the pressure on, please!

bson said...

Barresi makes public school teachers cry on a daily basis. I agree with Claudia about keeping the pressure on!!!