“Good Morning – I am here this morning to articulate two issues of paramount importance.
1. The 40-million-dollar contract with Cambiam riddled with conflict of interest and bad faith.
2. The poor excuse for academic skill assessment that is labeled as “RISE.”
When reading about this bloated contract with Cambiam, I thought to myself, they printed it wrong or even someone must be mispronouncing—or misspelling—that word?
Did you know that the Cambiam Umbrella Corporation owns multiple curricular and software solutions installed and in force in many districts around our state – and others?
Will you consider it an anomaly when districts who employ and pay hundreds of thousands (even MILLIONS) of dollars to use Cambiam-armed curriculum and supplemental learning resources do better on RISE? Or
Will you consider it odd when students perform poorly, and Cambiam affiliates push “solutions?”
Will you wonder if the test was skewed to promote curricular resources this behemoth already has for sale?
The stakeholders in the state of Utah should have an unbiased, non-conflicted and non-financially motivated third party engaged in assessing the academic SKILLS of our students. The contract entered into last month should be voided immediately for two reasons: Conflict of interest and an assessment protocol in conflict with Utah Law.
Our code expressly states that one cannot assess or survey “values or attitudes,” yet many of the aspects of this assessment do just that and it is in violation of Utah Legislative Code.
The assessment reinforces tautological reasoning, presents overtly false information written by employees of this board or purchased by employees of this board.
Finally, the vast majority of the assessment provides no tangible information for educators to move from to help students. By your agent’s own admission, the RISE is “to inform instruction, not assess student learning.” Many “answers” are subjective.
In the course of one day, I found over thirty items without an objective or legitimate correct answer. Each response was written to assess “reasoning” or “Thinking.” In short, if a student engages in “correct think” they will “score well,” but if they think critically or independently, they fail and are deemed “below grade level.” The latter is also in violation of Utah Code.
I never thought I would see the day when math skills assessment resorted to the evaluation of spatial and temporal reasoning. But somehow, RISE slipped it in and did so in very poor fashion. This should be addressed.
Lastly, this poor excuse of a standardized test is anything but “standardized.” I would request that the board add suspension of its administration to the January agenda and act with integrity to honour Utah law.”