[Curriculum Directors] Wednesday Weekly

Throndsen, Jennifer Jennifer.Throndsen at schools.utah.gov
Wed May 29 08:26:37 MDT 2019

Wednesday Weekly Edition #3
May 29, 2019
Board Hearing Scheduled for R277-707

A public hearing on Utah State Board of Education Administrative Rule R277-707 Enhancement for Accelerated Students Program will be held at the request of eighteen individuals. The Board approved Draft 4 of the rule in its April 4, 2019 meeting and the rule was filed with the Office of Administrative rules in May for public comment. The hearing has been scheduled in accordance with Utah Code 63G-3-302<https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title63G/Chapter3/63G-3-S302.html?v=C63G-3-S302_1800010118000101>.

Interested parties are encouraged to submit written comments, statements, or other feedback, which will be made part of the hearing record and posted on the State Board of Education's website. Written comment should be submitted by email to rule.comments at schools.utah.gov<mailto:rule.comments at schools.utah.gov>. Written comment to be posted prior to the hearing will be accepted until close of business, Thursday, May 30, 2019.

If you would like to make comment on the rule at the hearing, contact Board Secretary Lorraine Austin at lorraine.austin at schools.utah.gov by close of business, Thursday, May 30. Individuals should provide their name and address and indicate whether they wish to speak in favor of or in opposition to the rule. A signup sheet will also be available at the hearing.  The hearing will be held on May 31st at 3:00 pm at the Utah State Board of Education.

Contact: Nathan Auck

Email: nathan.auck at schools.utah.gov<mailto:nathan.auck at schools.utah.gov>

Vacancy on the Utah Instructional Materials Commission (Attachment 1)
There is now a position open on the Utah Instructional Materials Commission for an elementary teacher..  If you would like to nominate someone for this four year assignment, please contact alan.griffin at schools.utah.gov<mailto:alan.griffin at schools.utah.gov> .

Contact: Alan Griffin
Email: alan.griffin at schools.utah.gov<mailto:alan.griffin at schools.utah.gov>

Grades 3-8 Assessment Procurement Timeline
Assistant Superintendent, Darin Nielsen, released this information last week due to some misinformation being provided by the news media related to our procurement process for our RISE vendor.  This information may be useful for you to be aware of in case you are asked for information.

Good morning,

Over the last several days, I've read and heard in both news and social media, statements about the procurement method that resulted in USBE's contract with Questar to provide the RISE assessments. Regrettably, some of what I have read and heard is inaccurate. As leaders in your respective LEAs, it is important that you have accurate information so your communications can be precise and clear. It is in that spirit that I am providing you with a timeline of the most recent procurement process for the 3-8 state standards assessment. While this does not include every related event over the last two and a half years, it does provide you with details of the most significant or noteworthy related activities.

Questar Timeline
*       5 year testing contract (2012-2017) ended, and by law, USBE entered into a state required RFP process
o   During this process, USBE entered into a one year extension, for Spring 2018 assessments, with AIR while new platform was developed
*       January 2017: ETS bought Questar
*       March 3, 2017: USBE RFP Released: Implemented procurement process required in code
*       April 24, 2017: USBE RFP Closed
*       All vendor proposals indicated prior issues in other states within the last five years
o   Questar specified as part of its portfolio that it had no issues of nonperformance or breach of contract
*       Questar indicated that its parent company, ETS, had performance issues in Texas during the 2015-2016 school year, but all issues had been resolved
o   Pearson reported test delivery issues with three different state implementations that resulted in liquidated damages being assessed
o   AIR listed five issues with implementation, including some in Utah
*       October 13, 2017: USBE notified all vendors of procurement award, with Questar being selected as the vendor
*       February  8, 2018: USBE approved final contract
*       February 9, 2018: USBE/Questar contract signed
*       April 27, 2018: Staff discovered Questar issues with Tennessee testing via Chalkbeat Blog
o   USBE Staff contacted Questar asking for a written explanation of the issues, how those issues were corrected, and that such issues would not impact Questar's work in Utah
*       May 29, 2018: Questar provided the written explanation requested on April 27th.
*       June 2018- December 2018: Staff worked with Questar on meeting contract obligations and testing windows
*       Dec 19, 2018: USBE staff shared concerns with Board Leadership of ongoing issues in preparation for Spring 2019 testing window
*       March 22, 2019: USBE sends a Notice of Default and Notice to Cure to Questar
*       April 2, 2019: Questar notifies USBE staff that testing is being suspended for the day in New York, and ensures that  these issues will not impact Utah testing
o   April 5, 2019: USBE received assurances that issues impacting New York had been corrected
*       June 2019: Testing window closes
*       September 2019: Recommendations to Board regarding use of assessment results

Contact: Darin Nielsen
Email: darin.nielsen at schools.utah.gov<mailto:darin.nielsen at schools.utah.gov>

Utah Systems Conference (Attachment 2)
Register today for the 2019 Utah Systems Conference held on June 17 & 18.  Come learn from local and national speakers on topics related to teaching and leadership.  Refer to the attached flyer for more information.   https://utahsystemsconference.org/

Contact: Kim Fratto
Email: kim.fratto at schools.utah.gov<mailto:kim.fratto at schools.utah.gov>

Science Standards Update
On Friday, May 24, the Standards and Assessment Committee of the Utah State Board of Education help a review of the amended draft of the science standards.  Additional amendments were directed by the Standards and Assessment Committee.  The revised draft will be released next week and will be reviewed by the full board on June 6th for final approval.

Contact: Ricky Scott
Email: richard.scott at schools.utah.gov<mailto:richard.scott at schools.utah.gov>

Jennifer Throndsen, PhD
Director of Teaching and Learning
Utah State Board of Education

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