When the Michigan Legislature made the unfortunate decision to lift the ban on funding for the Common Core they requested a report from the Michigan Department of Education outlining the different assessment options. They looked at 12 different options. Their report provides summaries on cost, scoring and reporting methods, test security transparency, and over all design.
They said only three tests were aligned to the Common Core: Measured Progress, PARCC and Smarter Balanced.
Smarter Balanced is the only viable option.
“Because Smarter Balanced was designed primarily by state assessment directors to understand these needs, this should not be a surprising result,” the report states.
Of course it shouldn’t be a surprising result as the Department is biased and this is the assessment they’ve been working toward. It would have been better to commission an outside third party do the report. Common sense should have told them that MDE would be incapable of providing an unbiased report.
Now it’s up to the Michigan legislators to decide whether or not to accept this report. Based on their recent actions I’m not going to hold my breath. I’ve said to some friends that one of the traits I look for in elected officials is a healthy distrust of bureaucrats. That seems to be lacking in the Michigan Legislature. Not that there are not good state employees, there are, but a legislator that just buys what a department tells them verbatim without verification and third-party research has no business being in a state legislature (or Congress).
You can read the report for yourself below.