With negotiations to become Florida’s test provider getting under way, ACT Aspire has taken the unusual step of launching a website to explain its benefits to Floridians.
ACT Aspire is one of five companies hoping win the state’s lucrative contract for new standards-based assessments, along with Pearson, CTB/McGraw-Hill, the American Institutes for Research, and Pennsylvania-based McCann Associates. The state began looking for alternatives to the PARCC consortium in the fall, after key lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott called for a Florida plan for testing after the FCAT goes away.
Bidders aren’t supposed to communicate with the Department of Education reviewers, who aim to keep the process above board to avoid protests in an already tight time frame. But that doesn’t mean they can’t reach out to constituents, who already have been vocal and somewhat influential about the state’s accountability, testing and standards during this time of transition.
The company confirmed in December that Bennett was on board and that “ACT Aspire has hired him to consult on state level initiatives.” “We understand his focus to be on initiatives related to ACT Aspire as states consider the future of their state assessment programs.”
So, will the Pam Stewart-led FLDOE award Tony Bennett’s new bosses for having faith in his expertise and connections on state ‘initiatives” on “their state assessment programs?”
Even this may be too cozy for Jeb Bush’s state and all those edu-crats who go back and forth between the FLDOE and his Foundations.