Manuel Alfaro, the former College Board employee, contacted several state departments of education to inform them of potential fraud coming from the College Board with the restructured SAT. Yesterday, Alfaro’s home was raided by the FBI due to the College Board claiming Alfaro published confidential information according to an article from Breitbart.
In May, Alfaro wrote to Delaware Secretary of Education Dr. Steven Godowsky, along with six other state Secretaries. When he didn’t hear back from any of them, he posted an open letter on his LinkedIn account on Sunday. He wrote:
Residents of CO, CT, DE, IL, ME, MI, and NH, the heads of the Department of Education of your states have failed to protect the best interests of your students and your families, opting instead to protect their own interests and the interests of the College Board.
But it gets worse…
On May 7, 2016, I wrote a letter to the heads of the Department of Education in CO, CT, DE, IL, ME, MI, and NH to let them know that the College Board has committed global fraud against their states and the federal government. In that letter, I offered to meet with their legal teams to expose the fraud. Instead of meeting with me (or asking me for additional information), they approached the College Board about my statements and allegations.
The Delaware Department of Education announced in May 2015 that the SAT was going to become realigned for the Common Core. As juniors in the state opted out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment that Spring, Secretary Godowsky and Governor Markell replaced the Smarter Balanced Assessment with the new SAT for the 2015-2016 school year. Students in Delaware already had the test paid for them by the state, but this made the SAT the official state assessment for high school juniors. Markell and Godowsky acted unilaterally on this with no legislation or executive order backing this up. Many legislators changed their mind on the veto override because of this announcement on 12/31/15.
Alfaro appears to be under a lot of pressure from his former employer. It remains to be seen if he will be granted whistle-blower protection or if the College Board will prosecute him in this matter. In the same article linked above, it mentions a Reuters article from Friday which talks about the different states response to Alfaro’s allegations. Delaware was not one of them.
A New Hampshire official said the state had no immediate comment. Officials in Delaware, Illinois and Maine didn’t respond to requests for comment.
But the matter has caught the attention of one member of Congress according to the Reuters article.
A member of Congress, meanwhile, has asked federal regulators to look into Alfaro’s allegations. U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland, has “been in touch with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” according to a July 28 letter she wrote to Alfaro.
I alleged back in January this was done to prevent high school juniors from opting out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. At one school in the Red Clay Consolidated school district, 60% of students were opted out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment by their parents. Including Delaware State Representative Kim Williams’ son which she announced on social media. It appeared to be a very rushed decision by Godowsky and Markell. In early November last year, the U.S. Department of Education issued warning letters to states with high opt out numbers. In January, the Delaware House of Representatives failed to override Governor Markell’s veto of House Bill 50, an opt out law that passed the House and Senate with a massive majority earlier in 2015.
I find it interesting this matter was not brought up by Secretary Godowsky or the State Board of Education last month when they discussed the SAT results and the scoring method for the test. In my opinion, the College Board is trying to protect themselves in a massive cover-up and will prosecute Alfaro to prevent this matter from moving forward. I believe Alfaro should be granted whistle-blower protection and an investigation needs to take place immediately. As well, all the states involved with their SAT decisions need to come clean if they knew anything about this potential fraud.
Why does Delaware always come up in these kind of matters? As I wrote last week, Delaware is the capital of corporate education reform. Governor Markell has been the biggest proponent of every single bad education idea that has come out since he took office in January, 2009. This decision with the SAT saved many “high-performing” high schools in Delaware from devastating participation rate numbers, including Newark Charter School, Charter School of Wilmington, Conrad, and Cab Calloway, and the vocational school districts in Delaware which only have high schools. Markell has been pumping them up with his incessant Pathways To Prosperity declarations for all high schools. With the highly controversial charter school payments story still unfolding, it is more than obvious there are levels of corruption and deceit at extremely high levels at the Delaware DOE, the State Board of Education, and Governor Markell’s office.