AZ MONEY TRAIL
No Cost Analysis was done to determine the impact to our state before Common Core was adopted in June 2010! This flow chart shows the AZ Money Trail to implement Common Core in our state up to 2013. Federal stimulus money has been used through the American Recovery and Reinvestmant Act (ARRA) to implement Common Core from 2009-2012 through Race to the top (RTTT) grants. Money from the AZ legislature was also requested in 2013 and 2014 to upgrade the AZ Department of Education's (AZED's) computer database system which is needed implement the Common Core Assessment, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), [now called Arizona's Measurement of Readiness to Inform Teaching- AzMERIT], and to establish the State Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) to track our students. This Arizona Department of Education (ADE) money, which included money to fund PARCC, $600 million was requested through the budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, but only $60 million was approved in the 2013 legislative session for the ADE's budget. Federal Grants were also initiated to pay for the SLDS system in 2007, 2012 and now an application is being submitted for 2015 to obtain more SLDS money.
For a quick visual overview, to see how AZ is paying for the implemention of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI), see flowchart: AZ Money Trail? below:
As outlined in the AZ Money Trail flow chart, the Arizona Department of Education (AZED) went to Washington, D.C. in 2009 to request a Race-to-the-Top (RTTT) Grant to implement Common Core for $250 million. Our state only received $25 million in the RTTT Phase III grant. We were also chosen to work with a consortium of 22 states under PARCC to develop the new student assessment system that would replace AIMS. This PARCC consortium received $186 million from a federal grant to develop these new student assessments. The Arizona PARCC assessment was field-tested in our state in 2014 but scrapped on May 29, 2014 so additional vendors could bid on our new Common Core assessment. AzMERIT was adopted on November 3, 2014 to replace PARCC. AzMERIT was administered to Arizona Students, for the first year, starting on March 30,2015 at a cost of $30/student for the on-line test and $12/student for the paper test. This compares to PARCC testing costs of $30/student for the 100,000 students who took the 2014 field-test or $2.95 million dollars wasted in our state! Arizona parents nor the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) never even saw the results of the PARCC field test so those Arizona taxpayer dollars, $2.95 million, was literally wasted because PARCC now "owns this student testing data" and refuses to share it with our state since it is "copywrited" since we no longer belong to the "PARCC Consortium!" Way to go Arizona! See AzMERIT replaces PARCC webpage for more details.
As mentioned previously, AZED also received two federal grants for the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) for $4.97 million in 2007 and and $5.95 million in 2012 to implement the student data tracking system on our students from preschool through college or age 20 (P-20). Our state is working on obtaining another Federal grant in 2015 for SLDS.
Former Superintendent John Huppenthal
Under former Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) requested an additional $7 million dollars, in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, to set up the SLDS framework in Arizona under the "Arizona Education Learning and Accountability System" (ALEAS).
Bill Gates- Common Core Profiteer!
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have donated $2.5 billion and climbing to the "Common Core System" (Standards + Assessment + Data mining) and those numbers continue to rise every year! Gates has a lot of money to gain from the "Common Core System." See more details in the Who is Behind Common Core website link.
DOES MORE MONEY SPENT PER PUPIL GUARANTEE A BETTER EDUCATION AND TEST SCORES? NO!
Review this graph from the CATO Institute which shows an exponential increase in money spent to complete a K-12 Public Education from 1970 through 2010 versus the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) test scores which remain flat. So there is no proof that spending more money on education guarantees an improvement in assessment scores by our students! What happens in the classroom and what is being taught in the classroom through a "classical education" with the curriculum that is selected, AND is backed up through parental involvement, is the "key" to a good education. Higher achieving students who are "independent thinkers," and higher assessment scores will also follow naturally if good teachers were allowed to teach and not be micromanaged through letter grades dictated by state and federal government mandates!
Here was another study posted in 2012 on "Education Week" entitled "Is the U.S. Catching up?" and reposted in the "Michigan Capitol Confidential" entitled "State Spending Less Money on K-12 Education Get Better Results." They both show that spending less money in the classroom results in higher assessment scores on the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP). Again, it is what is being taught, how it is taught and if the student and teacher are motivated in this process which reflects back on assessment scores. Who would have thought? You can have higher performing students with less money! It's true!!