Thursday, December 15, 2016

The College Board and Its Doomed Agilix Connection | deutsch29

The College Board and Its Doomed Agilix Connection | deutsch29:

The College Board and Its Doomed Agilix Connection

On December 12, 2016, Reuters published an extensive article about David Coleman’s botch job in trying to fast-track a “new” SAT that was supposed to be aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Based upon a number of College Board internal documents, the Reuters article notes that a number of College Board execs and legal advisors tried to get Coleman to slow down and rethink some components of his “vision”; such is true of the excerpt featured in this post involving online test delivery using the ed tech company, Agilix:
Before Coleman arrived, the College Board had been developing digital testing for more than two years, internal memos show. Offering tests online was complex, veterans warned Coleman. It would require extra research and logistical chores, such as arranging computers for exam-takers. Moreover, creating a digital SAT by March 2015 “is almost certainly not achievable,” [College Board Senior VP Hal] Higginbotham wrote in his note to Coleman, “and definitely not in a responsible manner adhering to good measurement practice.”
Coleman pressed on. In early 2013, he scuttled the College Board’s internal digital project and brought in an outsider to lead the effort: Mark Luetzelschwab, who had helped run an education technology company called Agilix.
That July, Luetzelschwab touted how his former company would help execute the digital undertaking, documents show. Using Agilix software, the College Board would meet its goals “faster, cheaper, and (with) less risk than building” a digital platform internally, he wrote in an email to Jeremy Singer, Coleman’s new chief operating officer.
Coleman’s team worked out a deal with Luetzelschwab’s old firm: a no-bid contract for as much as $30 million, documents show. Other top College Board officials protested.
Three College Board technical specialists warned in detailed memos that Agilix lacked the expertise to deliver the technology it promised. Lawyers didn’t like the deal, either.
General counsel Neil Lane urged Singer to abandon talks with Agilix; Lane 
The College Board and Its Doomed Agilix Connection | deutsch29:

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