Category Archives: Testing

Suggested Note to School Administrators: REFUSE TESTING

Below is a suggested note to send to school administrators when REFUSING the state assessments.

Suggestion: Send a copy to all of your school board members, State Representatives and State Senator
NOTE: Read more about how the NAEP is not collecting personal data here: http://edlibertywatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Final-Ltr-NAEP-legal-and-privacy-concerns-06272016.pdf

Dear __________________________________
(teacher, principal, admin, or even name of school)
This is to inform you that my child will not be participating in any of the testing I have indicated below. I thank you for respecting my right as apparent and appreciate your support as an employee of our community.

Grades 3-8
_______ My child will not participate in the Smarter Balanced OR PACE English Language Arts Assessment
_______ My child will not participate in the Smarter Balanced or PACE Mathematics Assessment
_______ My child will not participate in any field test assessment provided by the State Education Department

Grade 11
________My child will not participate in the (New Common Core aligned) SAT

_______ My child will not participate in the NAEP Assessment

Name of Student:____________________________________________
Grade:________
Parent/Guardian Signature___________________________________________
Date:________________

Less TESTING with PACE? Think again

States have been ditching the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) for a few years now. Public backlash has caused some governors to reassess whether they should be using the highly controversial assessments in their public schools.

In NH, Governor Hassan and the bureaucrats at the DoE still can’t admit the SBA was a huge mistake on their part but since parents are refusing to let their kids take it, they are finding other ways to force compliance. The latest assessment scheme they came up with is the PACE assessments.

PACE assessments are in a few pilot schools throughout New Hampshire. Parents are starting to realize that even though they were told there’d be less testing with PACE, that simply isn’t true.

A recent post from a parent in a PACE district who refuses to let her kids take the standardized assessments confirmed this on Facebook:

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More info on PACE

More Psychological Profiling of NH Students Coming

Thanks to Education Liberty Watch for notifying us of another way the Feds are gathering psychological data on our children. Make sure you REFUSE the Smarter Balanced, SAT, PACE assessments and the NAEP.

Constitutional, Statutory, & Privacy Concerns with Assessing Mindsets in the NAEP
The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) is planning to assess non-academic social and emotional “mindsets” like “grit” as well as school climate in next year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Here is a summary of the many problems with this approach with details available at Mindsets in NAEP – final:

It is unconstitutional – There is NO constitutional, statutory or moral authority for the federal government to conduct psychological research on innocent American school children via what is supposed to be an academic test.

It violates federal statute prohibiting such activity in one or both of two ways.

It goes against several Supreme Court precedents affirming parent’s inherent rights to direct the education and upbringing of their children.

These types of questions are highly subjective as admitted by leading experts and organizations in the fields of education and mental health.

Because of the weak and gutted federal privacy law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), this very sensitive data can be shared with various agencies of the federal government and third parties and re-disclosed and used for “predictive tests,” which are notoriously subjective and incorrect.

This subjective, allegedly predictive data may then well be used to make life altering decisions for children affecting college entrance, employment, etc.

According to information uncovered at recent US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings, the state of data security at the US Department of Education is appallingly bad, so this sensitive data that the government should not have in the first place is not safe from hackers.

It seems that members of Congress and parents’ rights legal firms are starting to get interested in this situation. Please contact your US Senators and members of the US House of Representatives and ask them to oppose this illegal and unconstitutional plan via the power of the purse, especially if they are on the following committees:

US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

US House Education and Workforce Committee

US Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee

Thank you and stay tuned!

IMPORTANT Senate Hearing on Common Core Assessments

URGENT ACTION NEEDED:
Call/Write the Senate Education Committee IMMEDIATELY:
*David Watters — District 4, Dover
david.watters@leg.state.nh.us
(603)271-8631
*Kevin Avard — District 12, Nashua
Kevin.Avard@leg.state.nh.us
(603)271-4151
*+John Reagan — District 17, Deerfield
john.reagan111@gmail.com
(603)271-4063
*Molly Kelly — District 10, Keene
molly.kelly@leg.state.nh.us
(603)271-3207
*Nancy Stiles — District 24, Hampton
nancy.stiles@leg.state.nh.us
(603)271-3093

TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2016: SENATE EDUCATION, ROOM 103, LOB
Public hearings for the following bills

9:00 a.m. HB 1229, prohibiting the inclusion of statewide assessment results in a student’s transcript without consent.
position — SUPPORT
information — This is a reasonable privacy protection for students. The statewide assessment is not designed as a measurement for individual performance. It was originally created for school district comparisons as well as school and teacher accountability. This bill prevents assessments from being used for a purpose for which they were not intended.

9:30 a.m. ***HB 1338, relative to student exemption from the statewide assessment.
position
SUPPORT
information — This bill is in response to increasing demand from parents to refuse their child’s participation in mandatory testing, including the statewide assessments that are aligned with College and Career Readiness Standards (aka Common Core). This bill acknowledges parents’ rights to direct their children’s education. If the student does not participate in the assessment, this bill requires schools to provide an alternative educational activity which can be as simple as study hall or free reading time. This bill also protects the schools from any penalty from non-participation. We already have seen scores adjusted for students who did not take the 2015 Smarter Balanced Assessment to indicate schools’ scores are not diminished by lower participation. Nothing in this bill changes the requirement for schools to administer the exam and make it available to all students for compliance with federal waiver conditions. The House Education Committee was supplied with examples of rewards and punishments that occurred in NH school districts.
EXECUTIVE SESSION MAY FOLLOW

Why Refuse Common Core Tests? Here Are Your Answers, Parents

WHY REFUSE SMARTER BALANCED TESTING?

Parents should be asking “why does the state want the children to take Common Core tests

Many New Hampshire children did not take the Smarter Balanced Math and ELA assessments last year.
Here are reasons why parents said they did not want their children participating:

The tests don’t count towards your child’s grades or promotional status.
The tests don’t count towards receiving or not receiving special services.
The tests are age and developmentally inappropriate.
The tests are too long.
The tests are developed by business men and corporations, not teachers.
The tests are just another form of data mining. Data is the name of the game.

For those who say, “My child does well on the tests”, what are they doing well on? They are doing well on following orders, filling in bubbles, and navigating an absurd myriad of age and content inappropriate test questions that do not measure what they are learning in class and have NO bearing on where they will be placed the following year.

All you see is a number (1-4), specific results are not given to school districts or to parents – so there is no information at all on what they’ve learned, where their strengths are, or where they need improvement. The tests do not have any bearing on whether or not your child will or will not receive additional services either.

Refusing the state tests does not mean your child will never have exposure to taking a test, nor does it mean you are teaching your child he or she doesn’t have to fulfill their academic responsibility. Refusing means you are aware that these tests mean nothing and you refuse to have your child be a guinea pig for the state and the test manufacturers.

School districts must make the tests available to all students, that does not mean they can force or “encourage” all students to take them. You have the option of refusing. Parents, you are the primary educator of your child, and you have first and final say. Parents rights supersede the rights of the school. Remember that. Always.

Your child provides free labor and research for the test manufacturers. Your schools have sold your child into indentured servitude in order to get grant money and the test manufacturers are cashing in.

The New Hampshire Dept. of Ed., school administrators and test manufacturers rely on your obedience to make your child take the tests, and they love to use threats to get you to do so. Don’t believe the threats you hear about losing funding or testing counting against your child’s teacher, these are scare tactics, and they work on people who don’t know the facts.

We are for tests that measure my child’s growth and progress. We are for tests that give teachers and parents a dashboard to look at and pin point what questions they are struggling with or excelling in. We are for tests that are staggered throughout their school years and do not last for days. We are for meaningful testing.

We want our children educated when they go to school. We don’t send our children to test taking school – we send them to school, just school. Please stop the rampant, abusive, useless testing, and lets get back to educating the whole child. That won’t happen unless we all REFUSE THESE TESTS.

This letter was adapted for Stop Common Core in NH from the original posted by:
Deborah Torres Henning
WCSD Parent and
Founder of NY Guardians”

NH School Districts in Violation of State Law and Ethical Codes when Testing Students?

This letter was sent by the Londonderry Superintendent to parents recently. As we read through it we noticed a great deal of information that was left out. Why are Superintendents not fully informing parents in the district about the possible violation of state law and ethics codes? Parents are encouraged to contact their local attorneys if they believe their rights have been violated.
BELOW the letter from the Superintendent is a reply we would suggest sending to him or any other Superintendent that is failing to adequately inform parents on the state law, validity of the assessments and what ethical codes they are following:

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: “LondonderrySchools@londonderry.org”
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 2:56 PM
Subject: Smarter Balanced Testing

Below, please find a link to a letter introducing this year’s administration of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test, to the attention of parents and guardians of all students in Grades 3-8. Included with this letter, you will find a page of ‘Frequently Asked Questions” to clarify several misconceptions regarding this test. Scheduling details will be determined by each school, and further information will be forthcoming. Testing begins for Grades 3 & 4 on March 16, with the other grades to follow.

http://www.londonderry.org/documents/district/smarter_balanced%20_letter16.pdf

Regards
Scott A. Laliberte
Assistant Superintendent
Londonderry School District SAU #12
268C Mammoth Rd.
Londonderry, NH 03053

Phone: (603) 432-6920 ext. 1109
Fax: (603)425-1049

A SAMPLE LETTER TO SEND IN REPLY:

Dear Mr. Laliberte
Thank you for the information on the Smarter Balanced Assessment At this time I’m writing you to inform you that my child……..will not be taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

According to Every Student Succeeds Act
ESSA page 144-145
‘‘(2) TESTING TRANSPARENCY.—
‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—At the beginning of each school year, a local educational agency that receives funds under this part shall NOTIFY the parents of each student attending any school receiving funds under this part that the PARENTS MAY REQUEST, and the local educational agency will provide the parents on request (and in a timely manner), information regarding any State or local educational agency policy regarding student participation in any assessments mandated by section 1111(b)(2) and by the State or local educational agency, which shall include a policy, procedure, or PARENTAL RIGHT to OPT the child OUT of such assessment, where applicable.”

It appears the letter you sent is meeting this new requirement however within your letter you made the assertion that if the school district does not meet the 95% participation rate, “possible consequences could range from a negative designation on our report to the loss of federal funds for the District.” One of the possibilities could be that nothing happens however you didn’t mention that in your letter.

For instance, there were assumptions that schools who did not meet the 95% participation rate last year could face the loss of federal funding. There were schools in New Hampshire that did not meet the 95% participation rate yet I’m not aware of any state or school losing federal funds.

According to fairtest.org , Why You Can Boycott Standardized Tests Without Fear of Deral Penalties to Your School, “FairTest is not aware of a single state, school or district anywhere in the U.S. that the federal government penalized for failing to test enough of its students.”

New Hampshire State Law: RSA 193-C, requires statewide assessments to be valid, appropriate and objectively scored. http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XV/193-C/193-C-mrg.htm Can you provide “INDEPENDENT” validity studies on the Smarter Balanced Assessment that shows it is in compliance with state law?

According to this letter http://www.fosters.com/article/20150407/NEWS/150409532 from Jayson Seamon, Phd Education Researcher, the Smarter Balanced Assessment has not been validated. If this is true, wouldn’t administering the Smarter Balanced Assessment violate state law?

Mr. Seaman goes on to explain the ethical standards required when administering psychometric assessments, “it is required practice to secure consent from research participants and to let them opt out at any time with no penalty. Smarter Balanced is such an assessment and should be held to the same ethical standard as all research on human subjects.

It appears as if you are sending “notification” to parents but you are not asking for informed consent. What ethical practices are you following when you administer these assessments?

It appears as if the district is in violation of state law by administering an assessment that hasn’t been independently validated. It also appears as if the district is not following basic ethics rules that require consent from parents. Notification is not informed consent.

The American Psychological Associations, Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/ requires licensed Psychologists:
9.02 Use of Assessments
(b) Psychologists use assessment instruments whose validity and reliability have been established for use with members of the population tested. When such validity or reliability has not been established, psychologists describe the strengths and limitations of test results and interpretation.

9.03 Informed Consent in Assessments
(a) Psychologists obtain informed consent for assessments, evaluations or diagnostic services, as described in Standard 3.10….

Will the district provide parents a description on the strengths and limitations of the test results and interpretation?
Why is the district not seeking informed consent from parents prior to administering these assessments?

I am copying the school board so they are informed and can act appropriately.

My request to the school board members is to first address the possible violation of state law and then the lack of ethical standards when administering the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Would administering this assessment put the district in a position where parents can sue the district for administering an assessment that violates state statute ? What are the ethical codes the district should be following when administering a psychometric assessment?

As a parent and taxpayer in Londonderry, we should be protecting the students by upholding the highest ethical standards when administering these types of assessments.

Finally, in this article that ran in the Washington Post, Gene V. Glass, a renowned statistician and researcher who has worked for decades in educational psychology and the social sciences explains why he is no longer comfortable in the field of educational measurement using psychometric assessments. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/08/20/renowned-researcher-why-i-am-no-longer-comfortable-in-the-field-of-educational-measurement/

The letter you sent to parents left important and critical details out. It seems to me that if the district is going to move ahead with administering the Smarter Balanced Assessment, or any other psychometric assessment that has not been independently validated, more information should be provided to parents so they can make informed decisions for their children. I ask the school board to review this information and look to developing policies that protect the interest of the students they are serving in the district.

HILLARY CLINTON admits NH Dept. of Ed is Breaking State Law?

HILLARY CLINTON admits NH Dept. of Ed is Breaking State Law?

We’ve been trying to warn everyone that the assessments used in our public schools are in violation of state statute. New Hampshire Families for Education has blown the whistle on this but it seems no one is listening.

According to their web site:
To top it all off, under state law, RSA 193-C, statewide assessments must be valid, appropriate and objectively scored. Smarter Balanced Assessments are not and can not meet these criteria, so they must be rejected

State statue says that assessments must be “valid” and yet the NH Dept. of Education has never made available independent validity studies.

Chapter 193-C:
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The NH Dept. of Education is also involved in new PACE assessments that will replace the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Where are the independent validity studies?

Hillary Clinton while campaigning in New Hampshire a few weeks ago stopped to talk to a New Hampshire parent who brought this to her. Even Hillary Clinton admits the Common Core assessments are not valid assessments.

“I asked her if she was aware that the current [Common Core-aligned] tests are not even validated, and she replied, ‘yes,’” Lawless said.

This was confirmed in a letter to the editor: School testing unethical, invalid
“I regard Smarter Balanced as part of a nationwide system of compulsory participation in unethically managed, invalid research.”

When will someone hold the New Hampshire Department of Education and schools across New Hampshire accountable for breaking state law and using unethical and invalid research?

PARENTS: It’s almost time for schools to start administering the standardized assessments. This is a good time to NOTIFY your local school if you want to REFUSE to let your children take these assessments.

WARNING to NH Parents in PACE school districts

The fatally flawed Smarter Balanced Assessments didn’t even hit your child’s desk before the New Hampshire Department of Education was pushing for a different assessment for your children.

The new experiment on your children is called the PACE assessment. The PACE assessments will replace the Smarter Balanced Assessment in some of the elementary grades but maintain the emphasis on testing the non-academic dumbed down workforce skills and Common Core standards.

“In 2014-2015 Sanborn Regional, Souhegan, Epping and Rochester began implementing PACE. In 2015-2016 Concord, Pittsfield, Seacoast Charter and Manchester’s Parker Varney Elementary School began implementing PACE.”

But does PACE offer parents information on whether their child knows Math or English? We know that the Smarter Balanced math assessment was fatally flawed. If we are going to replace one bad assessment with another assessment, shouldn’t we be assured that this one will not have the same baggage as the last one?

At least parents could refuse to let their children take the Smarter Balanced Assessment. With the PACE assessments, and under the Competency Based Model, students do not move forward unless they pass their competencies. Will your child be able to move forward if you refuse the PACE assessment? Or is this a way to FORCE your compliance?

Will the NH Dept. of Ed. acknowledge a parent’s right to refuse but then deny a student the ability to move forward in their class if they do not take the PACE assessments?

To make matters worse, we are finding examples of other states using other “Common Core” assessments that parents are finding, reduce their ability to learn the actual academic content and thereby minimize their chance of acquiring the knowledge to move into engineering careers.

Randy Houchins and John Pendergraff, two mechanical engineers, gave their testimony this week before the Texas State Board of Education. Both of these fathers have children in Texas public schools, and both men are very adamant that the Common Core process standards have managed to creep into their children’s math materials and STAAR tests. Common Core is illegal in Texas.”

Common Core is what the New Hampshire Board of Education adopted in 2010. The Smarter Balanced Assessment, the new SAT and the PACE assessments are all based on the Common Core standards.

If the testing of the standards are fundamentally flawed, at least with the Smarter Balanced and the SAT, parents could refuse. Unfortunately the Common Core curriculum and instruction will still deny them a quality math education, but parents could avoid the flawed tests.

With the PACE assessment SCHEME, there seems to be a real effort on the part of the NH Dept. of Ed along with the schools that are going to adopt PACE, to FORCE YOUR COMPLIANCE.

What can parents do? Go to their local board meetings and tell them you do NOT want PACE in your district. With Smarter Balanced and the SAT’s you get to decide whether or not you want your child to take those assessments.

Ask professionals in your local communities to start analyzing the standards and assessments in your schools.

In Texas, two fathers who happen to be Engineers took time to look at the Common Core assessments and share the problems they found with the State Board of Education.

Demand to see all of the testing materials in your school and given to your children. You have a right to see these materials.

If you do not identify the problems in your child’s education now, it may be too late when they get to high school and begin looking at colleges.

We know that the Common Core Standards do not prepare children for college programs in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field. It’s up to parents to let their school boards and elected representatives know that you expect better from them.

These kind of psychometric assessments do not measure academic knowledge. They are there to measure your child’s attitudes, dispositions, values, etc. Parents are now starting to discover that they don’t want any part of this kind of testing on their children. They simply want to know if their child can answer basic math questions.

PACE will be used as a tool to force compliance to this kind of testing so while they “experiment” on your child, it’s up to you to make sure your board knows you want NO part of this kind testing.

Will Your School Break NH Law? Why so much secrecy in TESTING?

We encouraged parents to request the questions and answers on the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) their children took last spring.

While many refused to take the SBA, those who took it have the right to look at every question and answer their child was given per New Hampshire law.

Unfortunately we are starting to hear that this information is not being provided to them by their local schools. Why not? In Massachusetts, parents could see all of the questions and answers on the old MCAS.

Why all of the secrecy?

Smarter Balanced assessment results were released by the NH Department of Education on November 12, 2015.

If you are denied this information that is a — violation of state law, RSA 193-C:10.

For the most part these assessments were administered online, so districts no longer have any assessment materials on hand. Districts are blaming this violation of parental rights on the Smarter Balanced consortia which has not released individual assessment questions.

Why would any district administer a statewide assessment without being able to provide transparency and accountability to parents — which is required by state law?
Why would any district administer a statewide assessment that has not been validated ? Another violation of state law
Why would the state mandate a statewide assessment that provides parents with no transparency or accountability — which is required by state law?

Your Superintendents should have made your school boards aware of all of this!

CHAPTER 193-C STATEWIDE EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM
193-C:10 Accessibility of Assessment Materials. – After the assessment results are released by the department, a pupil’s parent or legal guardian shall have the right to inspect and review the pupil’s assessment, including the questions asked, the pupil’s answers, instructions or directions to the pupil, and other supplementary materials related or used to administer the pupil’s assessment. A parent or legal guardian shall direct a request for inspection or review to the pupil’s school, and the school shall comply with such request within 45 days of its receipt. The department of education shall make available released assessment items on the department’s website as soon as possible after the statewide assessment results are released. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, to implement procedures for the review and inspection of assessment materials. These rules shall provide parents and legal guardians with no fewer rights accorded to them under the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g.
Source. 1998, 290:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1999. 2014, 219:1, eff. Sept. 12, 2014.

Has the NH Commissioner Been Lying to Parents?

Now that the abysmal Smarter Balanced scores have come out, the spinning has just begun.

The Common Core soldiers in the state are spinning these results to avoid some of the tough questions that come from this testing scheme.

In the past, New Hampshire under Commissioner Virginia Barry, students took the NECAP. Now they are taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Under the NECAP, New Hampshire students showed relatively high levels of proficiency in the core subjects. Those proficiency levels just DROPPED.

What does this mean for children who took the NECAP and those who recently took the SBA?
Does this mean, as one activist in New Hampshire recently said, the NH Department of Education has been lying to parents in the past?

While they SPIN these results, it’s important to note how none of these bureaucrats take responsibility for any of this.

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