I was just reminded of that today from an EdWeek story announcing tha Amplify Insight has been awarded $12.5 million dollar contract from Smarter Balanced.
One of the two consortia developing tests for the Common Core State Standards has awarded a $12.5 million contract to Amplify Insight to develop a digital library of formative assessment professional learning tools for educators.
The award from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, announced Tuesday, will come from a four-year, $175 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, given to support the group of states' efforts in crafting the exams.
The consortium estimates that it has given out $90 million in contracts so far, and that it plans to award about $70 million more, a Smarter Balanced official told Education Week.
Amplify Insight is a division of Amplify, an ed-tech company whose chief executive officer is Joel Klein, the former New York City schools chancellor. Amplify is the education arm of the media conglomerate News Corp., led by Rupert Murdoch. Last week, Amplify received a blast of media attention when it unveiled a new tablet device, loaded with classroom management tools and interactive lessons, at the South by Southwest education gathering.
The fact they are also part of NewsCorp which also owns Fox News is a good indication as to why it is tough to even sway Republicans on this issue. As far as the education business is concerned, the Common Core is where the money is. As a result we will find ourselves with fewer choices. It also seems to be destroying the free market in the education “industry,” especially with publishers.