It appears that Oklahoma may be embracing common core standards for K-12 education that include Microsoft products. As cited in one email, the following was asserted:

All students in grades 3 through 12 will be assessed four times each year for math and language arts/literacy. All of these assessments will involve an online component.  For grades 3 through 5, the questions will be online and the responses will be put on paper.  For all other grades, this will be online testing. Technology skills will be required to successfully complete these tests. Some test items require the use of Microsoft Office products.  

One example appeared to require MS Excel. This means that professional development on what technology skills will be needed to complete the assessments–which include Microsoft–has to be developed. 
Find out more about Common Core Standards in Oklahoma at these web sites:
While many will applaud the embrace of online components to assessments, questions remain. For example:
  1. Do Oklahoma schools have the technological wherewithal to ensure equitable access to online components of these assessments?
  2. Should vendors like Microsoft be included and what impact will that have on the funding for curriculum materials to prepare for assessments and training based on Microsoft products?
  3. Should schools in these tough economic times depend on “tried and true” proprietary technologies that can be expensive, or take advantage of free, open source tools?
  4. Were various technology tools–such as Microsoft–decided on after a rigorous process and was that process transparent to the public?
  5. Will solutions like LIVE@EDU and Office 365 provide workable solutions for schools that are low/no-cost?
What are your thoughts?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure