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Check out the rest of Jonathan Pelto's blog, "Wait, What?" at http://jonathanpelto.com
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An In-Depth Critique by Steven Rasmussen, SR Education Associates, March 2015
"This spring, tests developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium will be administered to well over 10 million students in 17 states to determine their proficiency on the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). This analysis of mathematics test questions posted online by Smarter Balanced reveals that, question after question, the tests:
No tests that are so flawed should be given to anyone. Certainly, with stakes so high for students and their teachers, these Smarter Balanced tests should not be administered. The boycotts of these tests by parents and some school districts are justified. Responsible government bodies should withdraw the tests from use before they do damage."...
For full post and main webpage with downloadable report, click on title above or here: http://mathedconsulting.com/
Kudos to parent and teacher Heather Hicks -- to see the full video on Youtube, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERFGuUGgdqg. Also, see full background and post on the Parents Across America Website: http://parentsacrossamerica.org/blended-learning-bombshell-mom-inacol-target/
For more on the controversial charter school chain that popularized "blended learning" check out: https://eduresearcher.com/2016/03/09/rocketship-pushes/
For more on Pearson and its infuence in testing, please see:
To view the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIK8GpX1anE
By Stacey Decker
"As schools across the country go high-tech, incorporating data-driven educational apps and software into classrooms, fears about the privacy and security of students' personal information are on the rise.
These concerns may be putting the brakes on school district's efforts to personalize learning, but not in Miami-Dade County, Fla. The 345,000-student district is a pioneer in digital learning, and has given teachers and students access to a host of online apps and programs.
At iPrep Academy, students work almost entirely online. Computer programs collect tons of information about students' interests, preferences, even the names of their friends, to customize lessons. Although Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is confident that the safeguards in vendor contracts, along with his data-security team, are protecting digital data, the threats are real. Hackers try to infiltrate the district's system every day, and not too long ago a cafeteria worker with access to the database stole hundreds of students' names and social security numbers.
John Tulenko of Education Week visits iPrep Academy to see how teachers are using the technology to personalize classroom instruction and what the district is doing to protect student data.
This video segment appeared on PBS NewsHour on April 5, 2016."
For full post, click on title above or here:
By Maureen Downey
"Many of you complained computer problems undermined the second year of the Georgia Milestones in your school systems, putting the scores in doubt for students coping with stalled tests and frozen screens.
The state agrees.
Today, the Georgia Department of Education won state Board of Education approval to waive promotion, placement, and retention requirements tied to the End of Grade tests in grades 3, 5 and 8.
(A refresher on testing lingo: It’s now End of Grade or EOG for the Milestones in elementary and middle, and End of Course or EOC for the Milestones in high school.)
As my AJC colleague Ty Tagami reported today out of the state board meeting:
There were some schools that had intermittent issues, said Melissa Fincher, director of testing for the Georgia Department of Education. Results were transmitted, but some kids may not have performed at their best because of the disruption, she said, so it wasn’t fair to them to use the scores.
She said 7 percent of test “sessions” had been affected as of Friday. Each student in grades three through eight has nine sessions. Close to half the nearly 1 million students in that age group took online exams this year, the largest in state history.
The school board voted to void the results for use in decisions about promoting students to the next grade.
Of course, few kids actually are retained in Georgia. (See the state policy on the appeals process.)
However, there seems to be stress around the question as I heard from a therapist who said, “I have been inundated with anxious young people and their parents about the Milestone’s effect this year on retention.”
At this point, the results of the End of Course tests in high school will still account for 20 percent of student grades as there have been fewer reports of glitches. (Fewer testers are going online at the same time with the high school tests.)
The state DOE is also asking to delay using Milestone scores to rate teachers, but that has to be approved by the multi-agency Educator Effectiveness Committee, an advisory group created to improve teacher quality.
In its statement DOE said:
During this year’s administration of the Georgia Milestones EOG tests, some local school districts reported technology-related interruptions of online testing. While some of these events were short-term and quickly resolved, with minimal impact on student experiences, others required more extensive technical support. The GaDOE believes that further analysis of the possible impacts of these interruptions is warranted prior to the release of student scores, given the stakes involved for students.
“I am committed to a responsible approach to accountability that ensures public trust in the process,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Given the technology issues experienced by some students during the online administration of the Georgia Milestones EOGs, we believe it is best to proceed with caution when it comes to basing promotion, placement and retention on the outcome of the tests. While many districts tested online without a major incident, in the interests of our students, we asked the State Board of Education for a waiver of the promotion, placement and retention portion of the rule.”
State law requires that students in grade three earn an At/Above Grade Level designation in reading to be promoted to fourth grade. In grades five and eight, state law requires that students earn an At/Above Grade Level designation in reading, as well as score in the Developing Learner achievement level or above in mathematics to be promoted to the next grade. These are the promotion, placement, and retention requirements being waived for the 2016 EOG administration. Some local school systems have additional promotion criteria, and this waiver will not preclude school districts from applying local policies and protocols for promotion and retention decisions for individual students.
Pending the approval of the Educator Effectiveness Committee, student growth will be held harmless for the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES)/Leader Keys Effectiveness System (LKES) this year, and will not count next year with the revised evaluation system. The Teacher Assessment on Performance Standards (TAPS) component of the TKES and the Leader Assessment on Performance Standards (LAPS) component of the LKES will continue to be the sole measure used to determine the performance rating of teachers of record and leaders reported by employing school systems and charter schools to the GaPSC for certification purposes."...
For full post, click on title above or here:
"An administrative law judge said this week that New Jersey education officials may have broken the law in deciding to use PARCC as the new high school exit exam.
For full post, click title above or here: http://patch.com/new-jersey/morristown/find-out-why-parcc-may-not-matter-so-much-anymore-0
By Catherine Gewertz
"Only 21 states still plan to use shared tests designed for the common core, a continued erosion of the unity that emerged six years ago, when 45 states embraced the standards and pledged to measure student learning with common assessments.
The high school testing landscape is even more fragmented, as states increasingly choose the SAT or ACT college-entrance exam instead of common-core tests.
An Education Week survey of states' testing plans in English/language arts and math—the two subjects covered by the common core—found that states have continued in 2015-16 to drift away from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, and Smarter Balanced tests."...
For full post, please see http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/03/23/state-solidarity-erodes-on-common-core-tests.html
"Superintendent of Schools for the Patchogue-Medford School District Dr. Michael Hynes and Pat-Med parent Ericka Carey discuss a parents right to opt out of NY State ELA/Math 3-8 testing."
For full video, view here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhKAzaAUhkI
By Adolfo Guzman-Lopez
"California education officials have made significant changes to the way hundreds of thousands of special education students take the state's standardized tests. But the modifications have some teachers and parents worried about whether they'll help students.
“We found some areas that we wanted to improve,” said Keric Ashley, Deputy Superintendent at the California Department of Education.
The changes have to do with the more than two dozen tools available to educators to help special education students take the test. These tools include reading questions aloud, giving frequent breaks, and changing the color of the computer screen to allow a student to see the questions easier.
This year the Smarter Balanced test will allow students to control the volume and pitch on the computer program that reads a question to a student and that reads glossary words related to questions on the test. The test will also now provide Spanish language glossaries to help students who have a disability and who are classified as English Learners.
“What we learned is that accommodations may work for a vast majority of special education students,” Ashley said. “But, like we heard with the text-to-speech changes that we made for some special education students, things didn’t quite work as well as we might have hoped that they would.”
Special education students who take the Smarter Balanced tests typically have disabilities such as autism and other impairments that don’t severely effect a student’s ability to learn. Students with more severe disabilities take other standardized tests instead. Parents have the choice to opt out of the test taking, while the school staff that draws up a student’s Individualized Education Plan can also choose to exempt a student from taking standardized tests."...
For full post, click here: http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/03/28/58936/smarter-balanced-test-changes-affect-california-sp/
By Leslie Postal
"A group of parents opposed to high-stakes testing in Florida schools say they are delivering red clown noses to state leaders today in Tallahassee. Their "smell the baloney" campaign aims to draw attention to what they call the state's flawed school accountability system.
"We want a fair and valid education accountability system that holds not only schools and teachers accountable, but policy makers, as well. We think our current system is accountabaloney and we are inviting policy makers to join us in our campaign to call out the baloney when you smell it," said Sue Woltanski, a Monroe County parent and co-founder of the education blog “Accountabaloney,” in a statement.
So they might not be persuaded by the "smell the baloney" kits, which were to include the small, red, foam noses and literature about the group's views on bills the Florida Legislature is considering.
The kits were to be delivered to all state lawmakers, Gov. Rick Scott, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart and members of the Board of Education.
"The Accountabaloney movement is asking for a complete re-evaluation of the current education accountability system, which relies on standardized test scores, often with questionable validity," the group said."
For full post, click on title above or here:
For the Accountabaloney website: https://accountabaloney.wordpress.com/
By Emma Brown
"As most states have moved to new standardized tests based on the Common Core during the past two years, many also have switched from administering those tests the old-fashioned way — with paper and No. 2 pencils — to delivering them online using computers, laptops and tablets.
The transition aims to harness the power of technology to move beyond simplistic multiple-choice questions, using interactive questions and adaptive techniques to measure students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
But the shift to computer-based testing has been riddled with technical glitches that have spanned many testing companies and states, including those that have adopted Common Core and those using other new academic standards.
Stressed-out students have found they sometimes can’t log on to their exams or are left to panic when their answers suddenly disappear. Frustrated teachers have had to come up with last-minute lesson plans when testing fails. Some school systems — and even entire states — have had to abandon testing altogether because of Internet hiccups thousands of miles away."....
For full post, click on title above or here:
"The California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education recently released a research brief documenting concerns and recommendations related to the Common Core State Standards Assessments in California (also referred to as the CAASPP, California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress or “SBAC” which refers to the “Smarter Balanced” Assessment Consortium). A two-page synopsis as well as the full CARE-ED research brief may be downloaded from the main http://care-ed.org website. The following is an introduction:
“Here in California, public schools are gearing up for another round of heavy testing this spring, including another round of Common Core State Standards assessments. In this research brief, the California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education (CARE-ED), a statewide collaborative of university-based education researchers, analyzes the research basis for the assessments tied to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that have come to California. We provide historical background on the CCSS and the assessments that have accompanied them, as well as evidence of the negative impacts of high-stakes testing. We focus on the current implementation of CCSS assessments in California, and present several concerns. Finally, we offer several research-based recommendations for moving towards meaningful assessment in California’s public schools.
Background from the 2 page overview includes the following summary of concerns:
And the following quote captures a culminating statement:
For the full research brief, including guiding questions and recommendations, please see: http://www.care-ed.org
Al Schademan, Associate Professor, California State University, Chico
California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education. (2016). Common Core State Standards Assessments in California: Concerns and Recommendations. Retrieved from http://www.care-ed.org.
CARE-ED, the California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education, is a statewide collaborative of university-based education researchers that aims to speak as educational researchers, collectively and publicly, and in solidarity with organizations and communities,to reframe the debate on education.
For main post, see:
For Washington Post coverage of the document, see:
For related posts on EduResearcher, see here, here, and here.
By Jerry Rosiek and Alison Schmitke
"We are opting our daughter out of this year’s high-stakes, mandatory, standardized tests — the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests administered each year in third through eighth grades and in 11th grade. Last year, the Legislature passed a law that gives parents an unrestricted right to opt their children out of state mandated tests. That right never expires"...
By Cheri Kiesecker
By Michelle Davis
"A disruption to Internet access at the site of a Kansas-based assessment provider delayed testing of students across the country and caused Alaska to cancel state assessments altogether this school year.
A backhoe used in construction work at the University of Kansas on the afternoon of March 29 accidentally cut a fiber optic cable providing the campus digital connection. Servers at the university's Center for Educational Testing & Evaluation, which provides state assessments for students in Kansas and Alaska, went down.
The stoppage meant students in those states taking CETE tests could not finish or begin testing. And students in 15 other states, in addition to Kansas and Alaska, which use the CETE's Dynamic Learning Maps to assess students with significant cognitive disabilities, also were also unable to access the tests.
"The testing platform ... went down," said Marianne Perie, the director of CETE, who said the signal was severed at the main trunk line bringing Internet to the campus. "It was about the worst place you could cut a line."
Students who were testing at the time in Kansas, where the assessment window had recently opened, received popup messages saying their machines was no longer connected to the Internet.
The system automatically saves all test answers students have provided, except for the question a student is working on when the outage takes place, Perie said.
The university worked quickly to patch the cable and testing resumed, with limited capacity the following day, Perie said. On March 31, CETE told states they could return to normal testing, but the system was overloaded and went down again, staying down while officials worked on it through the weekend. This week testing resumed and was back to normal with 21,000 students testing simultaneously with no difficulties, she said.
However, Alaska's interim state education department commissioner Susan McCauley announced on April 1 that the state would cancel CETE's Alaska Measures of Progress testing for all students this academic year, despite the fact that Alaska's testing window had just opened.
McCauley said the unreliability of the system—being told it was back online only to have it crash again—and considerations unique to Alaska prompted her decision to discontinue testing for the year.
"The amount of chaos in Alaska schools last week cannot be overstated," she said in an interview this week, adding that teachers had to scramble to create lessons when they thought testing was to take place instead. "To ask teachers and students to 'try it again' with no guarantee that it was going to work was irresponsible."
For full post, click on title above or here:
By Anthony Cody (and Anonymous).
I received the following message from a reader this morning. With his permission, I am sharing it here, followed by my own thoughts:
I just applied to Downey Unified School District in Southern California and was referred to the Teachermatch website to take the “EPI” test to see if I was a good match. It was a bizarre, poorly-written test, that left me feeling angry that school districts are paying tens of thousands of dollars to this company for these bogus, meaningless assessments of candidates.
It was an hour-and-a-half with timed questions on logic, analogies, math, theory, hypothetical situations, etc. All multiple choice. Several questions about education philosophy did not have any choices that represented my philosophy–but I had to choose one to move on to the next question. There was a question about multiplying fractions — not a word problem, but literally 3/5 X 2/3—without the correct answer, but with fractions followed by abbreviations I have never seen before (ie “3/4 nf” and “1/2 bd”). I attended UC San Diego (consistently rated as one of top universities in the world) and have a Masters Degree. I had no idea what those abbreviations meant. But you have to choose an answer to continue to the next question. And you have to choose it within 90 seconds or you will be marked “in violation.”
My understanding is that Teacher Match is an LLC started by a former police officer in Chicago because he is “very concerned about unqualified teachers” in the schools. So he decided to gather a secret group of investors/finance industry executives together to develop this test (since those are the people most knowledgeable and most concerned about the crisis with incompetent teachers ruining our education system!). They charge tens of thousands to schools/districts to use their system that they claim is proven effective by data that they can’t share. And they are presenters at conferences that cater to investors looking at how to get into lucrative public education markets.
When the test was finished I was prompted to give them my personal information,, complete a profile and purchase a membership so that potential employers could view my profile (which I suppose would include the results of this test, which I could not see– I have no idea what score I got). I was not given a score, nor was there any explanation of how it would be scored.
Do you know anything about this? Does anyone have any thoughts?"...
By Michelle Strater Gunderson
"I worked the work of three people this week. I do not say this to be congratulated or slapped on the back. I have never been one of those people who brag about being tired because I do too much.
I say this because it is true.
This past week the students at my school were taking the PARCC exam. All of the special education teachers were pulled from servicing the children in my classroom in order to accommodate children who were testing.
I teach first grade in a neighborhood school for the Chicago Public Schools. The PARCC exam begins in the third grade, but even though my students did not take the test, their schedules and learning were still disrupted and negatively affected by the tests. There are 5 wonderful children in my classroom with Individual Education Plans (IEPs), and most of these plans are quite extensive (as they should be). Our room works in a co-teaching model where an education specialist, teaching assistant, and I work together to bring everyone’s Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to life. Our speech pathologist, occupational therapist, and social worker filter in and out of the room to serve the children per their IEPs.
It works perfectly until the supports are taken away, and last week facing this work alone with my teaching assistant I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me – and so did the children.
Now, it would be wrong of me to paint the picture of my classroom last week as chaos. That was not the case. I am very good at what I do. Yet the quality of my teaching was affected, as was the amount of energy I had for each child. To a casual observer it would seem that everything was going well. The part that needs to be explained is what was missing from our classroom this past week:
One of my students was so distressed by the break in her routine that she followed me around each day pulling on my sleeve every 10 minutes asking when her teacher was going to come. She then began scratching her arm until she broke the skin before I could notice.
There is no way anyone could say that these children received their Free and Appropriate Public Education this past week. And this was just one classroom in a system of more than 300,000 children.
And why did the Chicago Schools do this? Because the PARCC test is a state mandated test that supposedly aligns with the Common Core State Standards. It is a measurement instrument that by any standard of research would be considered worthless. The data is not received in a timely matter so that it is actionable, many passages of the tests are written above grade level so the test becomes a guessing game not a measure, and the test takes way too long to administer keeping children away from classroom learning.
So in other words, the learning lives of Chicago’s children were put on hold for no reason – and I would posit that harm was done.
I am writing this a week after the Chicago Teachers Union one day historic strike asking for fair funding and education justice – part of which is a reduction of standardized testing. In response to the strike both our governor and mayor stated that the Chicago teachers were interrupting the education of children, and that our actions were shameful.
Mayor Emanuel and Governor Rauner, you are the grand interrupters of our children’s education.
This is what I know for certain – my classroom last week would have brought every education reformer there is begging to their knees. There is no reason to put an entire school on hold just to serve their “measure to manage” agenda, and this needs to stop.
Michelle Strater Gunderson is a 29 year teaching veteran who teaches first grade in the Chicago Public Schools. She is a doctoral student at Loyola University in Curriculum and Instruction.
"Failed log-ins. Frozen screens. Server crashes. Service denials
Students, teachers and administrators recall all too well the woes that plagued Florida's most ambitious attempt at computerized testing last spring. As this year's testing season approaches, they're working to avoid a repeat.
"We'll have a first glimpse of whether or not the issues have been resolved" when Florida Standards Assessments in writing begin Feb. 29, said Gisela Feild, research and assessment director Miami-Dade schools. "We hope we won't see the same problems again."
The Florida Department of Education, its testing vendor American Institutes for Research, along with districts and schools, have taken several steps to prevent such troubles. Those include expanding bandwidth, upgrading defenses against outside attacks and improving testing software.
Even with such moves, though, the department warned that students still might encounter interruptions beyond their control. And that, said FairTest public education director Bob Schaeffer, could hurt some children.
Imagine the impact when the screen goes blank for a seventh-grader taking a civics test required to get out of middle school, Schaeffer said. "For an emotional adolescent to experience that, it's a scary situation."
Yet there's almost no way to guarantee trouble-free computerized testing on a stage as large as Florida's, experts said.
That's because the undertaking is "not just a test, but a massive technology project" that involves so many moving parts in a decentralized system, said Doug Levin, founder of EdTech Strategies, a consulting firm.
The tests originate at the vendor's servers, move over the Internet through district providers, and enter schools with varying levels of networks, hardware and infrastructure.
"Some of the devices are going to be quite old. Some of the school networks won't be as strong," said Levin, who helped develop the nation's first education technology plan in 1996. "Inherently, it is a somewhat challenging endeavor."
No test is foolproof, whether on computers or paper, noted Marianne Perie, director of the University of Kansas Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation.
"The same year that we were hit by a cyber attack, UPS also lost a batch of Scantron answer sheets off the back of their truck," Perie said. "They were returned to us torn, dirty, soaked in motor oil and covered in tire tracks. We had to throw several dozen out because they were unreadable, and had to rebubble hundreds of others to get them to go through the machine."
Paper tests also can be more susceptible to cheating, more expensive to administer and less nuanced in depth, said Greg Cizek, a testing expert at the University of North Carolina. Still, many Florida educators have called for a return to paper and No. 2 pencil as a less time-consuming and less glitch-ridden way to check student knowledge.
They have yet to see the value in moving to computers, which were sold as a way to make testing go more smoothly and deliver results more quickly. Neither has happened in Florida.
"At present, there is just no way to get around the problems, the way technology currently is and the way schools are equipped to handle technology," Cizek said.
Florida has experienced interruptions since it first introduced computerized testing to a handful of students retaking the FCAT a decade ago. Regardless of which vendor, test or system was used, the state has seen servers crash, providers implement unsupported changes, even construction crews accidentally cut cables to schools.
And Florida is not alone.
Earlier this month, Tennessee canceled its computerized testing after one day amid major testing platform outages across the state. It is now sending all schools paper tests instead, at its vendor's expense.
"Despite the many improvements to the system in recent months, we lost confidence in the system's ability to perform consistently," said Tennessee Department of Education spokeswoman Chandler Hopper.
Indiana, Minnesota, Virginia and Montana are among several states that had computer testing interruptions in the past year.
"The fact that this has happened so often in Florida and around the country should be a wake-up call to policymakers to go slow on computerized testing and have backups available," Schaeffer said. "Be prepared would be our warning."
The state and districts are trying to prepare.
Florida Department of Education spokeswoman Meghan Collins provided a list of actions the state has taken to prevent problems. It improved its testing servers to combat cyber attacks, developed a system to warn students before a large amount of text is deleted, and enabled students to restore past versions of their responses.
"This is not an exhaustive list of improvements," Collins said via email. "But we hope that it does serve as a reassurance that we take very seriously the concerns expressed last year."
The state's testing vendor, AIR, declined to comment."...
For full post, click on title above or here:
By Laurie Udesky
"Last spring, Julia Kim’s students with disabilities at Fairmount Elementary in San Francisco were ready to take a new standardized test. They were excited that it had been built especially for them.
But as soon as the first question appeared, students complained that the print was too small.
The color contrast tool, which used a background to minimize visual distortions, had been developed for the Common Core test to make it easier for special education students to see. But in practice, the tool prevented the one student in Kim’s class who used it from reading questions and marking answers. “I can’t see it,” he told Kim. It was too dark to read.
The Common Core tests, which are based on learning goals adopted in 43 states and the District of Columbia, offer many state-of-the-art technological tools to level the playing field for special education students. But Kim’s students were not alone. School employees across California have reported glitches in the tests’ enhancements for students with disabilities.
A field test administered in 2014 was meant to iron out the kinks. As a result, a noise buffer and closed captioning were added, according to an email sent last April on behalf of Michelle Center, who is now the California Department of Education’s director of the Assessment Development & Administration Division.
Still, according to teachers and administrators, special education students across California spent days last spring toiling over computerized tests that their teachers say often made it more difficult, not easier, for them to access the material.
“The majority of my students weren’t able to process any of the tests,” Kim said.
In San Francisco, one school found that text-to-speech tools read passages too quickly for students to follow, so teachers had to jump in and read the text out loud — distracting other students. The California School for the Blind found that different accessibility tools, such as Braille, could not be used at the same time as text-to-speech. In the Santa Ana Unified School District, curriculum specialist Gabriela Aguirre said she was concerned that the text-to-speech voice was distracting to students because it sounded robotic.
Precisely how many problems occurred with the tools known as accommodations last spring is not known. The California Department of Education didn’t specifically track accessibility glitches, Pam Slater, who worked as a CDE spokesperson until last week, said in an interview this fall.
Kim administered the exams to 14 students with disabilities in third through fifth grades. She and other teachers said they had problems with the accommodations. Those glitches only worsened anxiety about a test they had already worried was going to be especially difficult because of the tougher new standards.
For full post, click on title above or here:
By Kevin Ohlandt
"Since the Center for American Policy, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, and the President of the National PTA want to get 10,000 signatures on their Testing Bill of Rights within the next month, I think it is only fair parents who opt their children out of high-stakes assessments do the same. With that being said, this article needs 20,000 commenters, or official signatures, within the next month. We need to tell these corporate education reformers: NO MORE! If we get 50,000, even better.
Our parental bill of rights regarding opt out or refusing the test bill of rights will be a work in progress, morphing and changing based on the need. We will make sure every single legislator and decision-maker as it pertains to education in our country has a copy of this. Parents and guardians are the stewards of our children, not corporations and politicians. They are not “your” property. They are unique and individual.
THE PARENTAL BILL OF RIGHTS FOR OUR CHILDREN IN EARLY EDUCATION, PRE-SCHOOL, ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
CONCERNING HIGH-STAKES STANDARDIZED ASSESSMENTS, OUR RIGHT TO OPT OUT OR REFUSE OUR CHILD OUT OF THOSE ASSESSMENTS, THE COLLECTION OF STUDENT DATA, AND OUR RIGHT TO GATHER
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PARENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Definition of parent: any biological parent, or a parent through legal adoption, or foster parent, or guardian, or court-appointed guardian, for children through the ages of birth to 18 or 21 with guardianship through the end of an IEP, whichever is later.
Whereas parents have been given the responsibility to raise a child and to help guide them to adulthood, as their primary caregiver, and
Whereas parents, through United States Supreme Court decisions and other laws, have the right to decide what is best for our children in education matters until they come to a legal age when they are able to make those decisions on their own, and
Whereas, we believe public education should be reserved for the public at large and not the corporations, be they profit or non-profit, and that decisions based on education are best made at the local level, and
Whereas, we believe any assessments given to our children should provide immediate feedback for the student, teacher, school, and parent as defined for the sole purpose of giving reasonable and interpretive analysis of academic progress for our child’s allotted grade.
Whereas, as the caretakers of our children, we demand that decisions regarding data and the collection of data are parental decisions and that we furthermore have the absolute, unconditional right and ability to consent or not consent to any sharing of said data
(1) As parents, we have the fundamental, moral, and constitutional right to make decisions on behalf of our children in regards to their education.
(a) This includes the type of school we decide they go to, whether it be in a traditional school district, public charter school, vocational school, or private school.
(b) This includes our ability to refuse or opt our children out of standardized assessments despite accountability measures placed upon a school.
(i) Once we have submitted our letter indicating our choice to refuse or opt out our child, we shall receive no verbal or written words meant to threaten, bully, or intimidate, in an effort, whether intentional or coincidental, to coerce us into changing our minds.
(ii) We expect our children to receive instruction while their peers take the state assessment that is of equal or greater value to the type of instruction they would receive prior to or after the administration of the state assessment.
(iii.) If our child is forced to take a test after we have already given our consent to refuse or opt out, we reserve the right to call the local police and press charges against the local education administration.
(iv.) If we witness parents who are bullied or intimidated, we will advocate on their behalf with their consent, if they feel they are unable to do so.
(2) We reserve the right, as dictated by United States of America Federal Law, Title 34, Subtitle A, Chapter 1, Part 99.32 (b), to request all personal identifiable information sent as data or official records to all parties indicated in the entirety of Title 34, Subtitle A, and to receive the entire list of all those who have disseminated, received, or researched said data, and to receive such record keeping as required by federal law, within the 30 day timeframe.
(a) Parents also reserve the right to have any aggregated data on our child, which could conceivably set up a pattern of identification based on our unique and individual child’s health records, social-emotional behavior, discipline, socio-economic, or any such identifiable trait or history of said traits, be banned from any education research organization, personalized learning computer system, or blending learning computer systems, standardized assessment(s), or any other form of educational environment practice or computer-based digital learning environment, whether it is through algorithms already built into a system or any other form of data collection that does not include the legal definition of personal identifiable information, at our request.
(i) This would also include any State Longitudinal Data System, or any Federal system, up to and including the Federal Learning Registry, a joint system shared by the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Defense.
(ii.) Parents have the right to reject any “competency-based education” decisions for our children that we feel are not based on reasonable, valued, well-researched, or statistically-normed guidelines or analysis.
(iii.) Parents may freely reject any form of data collection, data-mining, or data sharing that would lead to our child having a pre-determined pathway to a career based on any such data unless we give consent for said behavior, before the actual data collection, data-mining, or data sharing by any education agency or institution, and as such, we reject and forbid any trajectory-based decisions for our child unless we have given complicit consent.
(3) For any education decisions regarding our children that we, as parents, feel is not safe, or is inadequate, or is unhealthy for our children, we hereby reserve the right to be able to give public comment to any governing body, without incident or refusal, based on compliance with existing, applicable, and reasonable rules of public meeting conduct, based on our First Amendment Rights.
(4) As parents, we reserve the right to gather, discuss, and give advice to other parents or concerned citizens, in any public meeting or gathering place or social gathering place, whether it is physical or on the internet, without censorship, removal, or banishment, based on existing, applicable, and reasonable rules of conduct set forth by the host of the public meeting place or social gathering place.
(5) Parents have the right to lobby elected officials or local school board officials or state board of education officials, regarding pending, suggested, or passed legislation or regulation, that parents deem harmful to their child or children in general, without cause or incident, based on existing, applicable, and reasonable law.
(a) We expect our elected officials, based on their availability, to make every concerted effort to personally respond to our request(s) and to not send a generic form letter, but rather to constructively engage with parents to the same effort they would with any official registered lobbyist who is paid to do so.
(6) As parents, we reject the ability of corporations to “invest” or “hedge” in education with financial predictors of success, including social impact bonds, or any other type of investments where financial institutions or corporations would gain financial benefit or loss based on student outcomes, as we believe a child’s education should be based on the unique and individual talents and abilities of each child, not as a collective group or whole.
(7) As parents, we believe our child’s teacher(s) are the front line for their education, and therefore, have the most immediate ability and responsibility to guide our children towards academic success, and therefore, should have the most say in their instruction.
(a) Therefore, we believe no state assessment can give a clear picture of a teacher’s ability to instruct a student or group thereof, and therefore, we reject any evaluation methods for teachers based on high-stakes standardized testing.
(b) Therefore, we believe a teacher’s best efforts should remain at the local level, in the classroom, and not to conform to a state assessment or to guide instruction towards proficiency on a state assessment, but rather on the material and instruction present before the students based on the material and instruction they have learned before.
(8) We reject any basis of accountability or framework system meant to falsely label or demean any teacher, administrator, school staff, or school, based on students outcomes as it pertains to state or national standardized assessments.
(9) As parents, we are the primary stakeholders for our child’s education, and therefore demand representation on any group, committee, task force, commission, or any such gathering of stakeholders to determine educational decisions for children, be it at a local, state, or national level.
(a) We demand equal or greater representation on any such group as that allotted to outside corporations.
Updated, 11:46am, EST: Apparently, Facebook does not like the idea of a Parent Bill of Rights for Education that touches upon an item concerning censorship of a parent’s First Amendment Rights to express their opinion that poses no physical harm or safety risk to any individual… [see link below]
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