"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Common Core Costs $22 Million in One Alabama District

Pearson is really cleaning up in the Huntsville, Alabama school district.  From The Report Card and Pearson $22 Million Contract With Huntsville AL Schools Exposed:

Editor: The Report Card has published a series of articles pro and con about on the Common Core K-12 Standard now required in 46 states. Diane Ravtich, and Sandra Stotsky well known educational reformers have come out against the Common Core saying. Dr. Stotsky has asserted that the CCS will drive up costs and lower literary and educational standards. Paul Horton, history teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory School has documented that Pearson, a $9 Billion publishing giant and CCS supplier has engaged in influence peddling. Diane Ravitch said: Pearson is overstepping the bounds of the role of a profit-making business. The corporation is acting as a quasi-government agency in several instances.”

An Alabama official who wished to remain anonymous, sent us a copy of sweeping $21 Million five-year contract between Pearson and the City of Huntsville. Population 180,000. The official was concerned that the there were no competitive bids for the service, and that the contract gave Pearson too much control over the curriculum and the operation of important local functions. The contract gives Pearson a total grip on Hunstville schools because it controls student content, teacher training, the Information Technology Platform, and apparently testing.

Keith Ward, Director of Communication and digital services for Hunstville Schools stated that the contract has been executed and work is being implemented. Mr. Ward was unaware of  whether there was a competitive bidding process or not and stated that he would research the matter and get back with the information.  Mr. Ward said that the main purpose of the contract was to permit Huntsville to move forward with digital learning. According to the anonymous Alabama official, The entire reason that the contract was developed in the first place was to ensure that Huntsville schools were CCS compliant. So Sandra Stotsky’s argument that Common Core Standards would be too costly seem to have a strong basis in fact. Many questions remain. Was there a competitive bidding process? Is CCS the driver behind all of this expense?

You can see the contract here.

That's a lot of money over a 5 year period for just one school district, school population of 26,000.  How much do you think implementation of Common Core will cost your district?

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