Did the NH Senate Education Committee FAIL Parents Again?

A LARGE number of parents came out to support HB206. This bill requires school districts to adopt a policy regarding student participation in non-academic surveys or questionnaires.

HB206 had bi-partisan support among the sponsors, but Rep. Terry Wolf (R) representing Bedford, testified in opposition to requiring parental consent before surveying students.

The House amended HB206 and removed written consent from parents before a school could administer a survey. Wolf’s amendment.

More parents attended the hearing on HB206 before the Senate Education Committee to request that “written consent” be added back to the original bill and passed.

Unfortunately their testimony fell on deaf ears because the Senate Ed. Committee then passed an amendment to send the Bill to a study Committee. (That’s where legislation goes to die)

Now we are getting news that the standardized tests also include surveys. Students who took the PARCC Common Core Assessment in Ohio were treated to another survey their parents did not know was being administered. They did not have access to the questions that would be asked of their children, they were not notified and they have no idea where this information will be sent.

HB206 goes before the FULL Senate for a vote SOON. Please WRITE the NH Senators NOW and tell them that the STUDY COMMITTEE is UNACCEPTABLE. Parents want their rights to be UPHELD, not undermined.

TELL THEM TO PASS HB206 in the ORIGINAL FORM that includes WRITTEN CONSENT from parents before a school can survey students. Tell them that a study committee is unacceptable. Senators@leg.state.nh.us

Village of Morrow, Ohio
One School Board member calls for action to unite the school board with parents who are concerned with PARCC Testing. Weigh in and show your support on the issue of the PARCC testing. Since many parents have choosen to opt-out of the test, we know it is of interest to you. School Board Member, Tony Niemesh presented some insightful comments at the board meeting.
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In light of the recent development regarding a “student survey” at the end of the PARCC assessment that is in direct violation of board policy, I am highly concerned about our ability as a district to continue to administer these assessments in their current format.
With many parents across the state and in our own district choosing to “opt-out” of these assessments, many due to concerns over student privacy and “data mining” I find it particularly disturbing that PARCC and the ODE would choose to add a student survey to the end of this assessment in light of growing District and Parent concerns.

I find it unacceptable and inexcusable that PARCC and ODE would put Districts in the position of defending these assessments and practices to our community, only to then deliberately add this survey to the end of the assessment without our knowledge. If PARCC and ODE wanted some feedback on the assessment then they should have asked teachers and administrators. If they wanted to gather information from kids, the survey should have been provided to us in advance, or it should have been optional. I believe these assessments serve a minimal purpose for a number of reasons:

1. they are designed by private corporations who stand to profit greatly from their implementation
2. They are designed to drive instruction at the local level and they come with a $750 million dollar penalty to ODE from the Federal government, which seriously clouds the judgement and motives of those mandating them.
3. Of the 26 States who were initially part of PARRC approximately 10 remain.
4. This assessment has not been found to be valid or reliable especially given the number of parents who are “opting out”. Without the scores of the “opt out” population, our district scores will be incomplete and inaccurate.

We as a District and taxpayers are footing the bill for these assessments, in turn we should be treated as the customer, to learn that my Supt. was bounced back and forth between ODE and PARCC who’s customer service approach seems to be to point the finger at the other, and for them to refuse to share the survey questions with us I find inexcusable.

Pearson and the State DOE have been ineffective, un-cooperative, and in the case of this survey, at best mis-leading, and at worst deliberately deceptive. This District and the board have made significant efforts and strides to gain the trust of the taxpayers since returning to local control from Financial Insolvency, and with the level of mis-trust surrounding these “assessments”, the actions of the DOE and PARCC and Pearson only work to dissolve the trust between the community, the local school district, and the Board.

Our Superintendent has taken a stand, our parents are opting out and taking a stand, and I believe now is time for us to take a stand and say “NO MORE!!”.
This board should never direct our administrative leaders to impose any curriculum or assessment on its students that directly violates board policy, serves a minimal meaningful educational purpose and return on investment, and funnels tax dollars and resources away from classroom teachers and students to private companies and entities.

The policy of this Board and the privacy of our students should be paramount. The time has come for us to take back local control of our school system and the resources our citizens have entrusted to us. It’s time for this board to tell Pearson and the DOE that we welcome the opportunity to partner with them to continually improve the quality of education each child receives here in Little Miami and across the State of Ohio, but that we will no longer stand for the idea of them dictating the terms to us, especially when those terms fly in the face of sound educational practice, are built on a foundation of political and financial motives, violate the privacy of our students, and undermine the authority of Local Boards of Education.”