Whether you're a parent with a child currently in diapers or a student planning to graduate from high school fairly soon, it is worthwhile to study the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) -- a 130-question form that determines who qualifies for a piece of $150 billion in federal grants, loans and work-study funds -- well in advance.
That said, I have also looked at the background on the CCSS and federal funding for PARCC and SBAC tests. USDE had a test-funding plan for the CCSS in April 2010, before the CCSS were published in June. By September 2010, grants were awarded to the PARCC and SBAC groups to begin test development at roughly $300 million total.
Who will remain to teach the nation's schoolchildren when the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) succeeds in its plan to force every single pupil, teacher, school, college and university to conform to its Orwellian plan for constant surveillance and measurement of teachers via standardized tests and surveys?
Education is central to economic growth, and reducing student debt, now estimated at $1.2 trillion nationally, is essential, lest we burden an entire generation with crushing financial responsibilities. But higher education ought to be about more than economics. It ought to be about not just learning to earn but learning to live a fulfilling life.
By dismissing the primary work of colleges and universities --- teaching and learning --- as impossible to measure across institutions, the proposed framework exposes the utter folly of the Administration's plan to impose some kind of generic rating system on the thousands of disparate institutions of higher education in this nation.
For the first time in 13 years, the DOE now makes clear that states, school districts, and schools must make education resources equally available to all students without regard to race, color, or national origin. This is some of the unfinished business of the civil rights movement and a giant step forward for poor children, often children of color.