President Obama and the federal education apparatus awarded $330M to two groups to create tests that would compare states. The testing is, of course, against the Common Core standards.
Use of these standards was required as a condition of funding before many of them were even written. "You need to trust us" was the cry from the federal government and many sectors of the education community.
While states like Arizona, Maryland, Mississippi, and Louisiana have agreed to "test" the tests, storms are gathering as some states are watching an uncommon alliance against the movement. Conservatives have led the argument that the tests are intrusive to a state function and that they cost too much…nearly $30 each.
Georgia projects a $27M increase in its state budget. Liberals are concerned that there is already too much testing and suggest that the money be spent for programs. With two very dissimilar clouds hanging over the same issue, there could be rain on the President's very expensive party.
Having been involved in Virginia's accountability movement, standards and tests, I realize how difficult it is to create practical instruments for Fairfax, Halifax, and Middlesex…now try Fairbanks, Burbank, and the outer banks. It is not practical…and yet we want to compare the results.
Florida and Michigan are debating the issue… Oklahoma and Georgia are bailing. Perhaps the Feds should work on their reading skills. When liberals and conservatives agree, maybe the policy doesn't make sense. As for math, a critical skill in politics is to be able to count.