Tag Archives: SBA

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!

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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PARENTS in New Hampshire, REFUSING the Common Core Assessments UPDATE

We received a copy of this letter from a parent to her school administrators. She gave us permission to post this however we felt it was best to remove the names of the parents and their child.

The purpose of posting this is to give parents guidance on how to address the school administrators on Common Core assessment REFUSALS.

We thank parents for sharing this kind of information because it helps other parents in New Hampshire.


Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2015 10:43 AM
To: Lois Costa; Kathleen Murphy
Subject: Academic year 2015-16 *****

Dear Lois,
We are sending this email early on to be certain that SAU90 and we, ***’s parents, are all on the same page regarding all SBAC, Next Generation and any other Common Core Aligned Standardized Testing and/or non-academic questionnaires.

*** will not be participating in any of the standardized tests or questionnaires. Additionally, she will not be participating in any of the preparatory work which is designed to prepare students for the testing.

It is our expectation that she will continue to be educated and treated equally by all SAU 90 employees and its representatives. While other students are participating in prep or testing around CC Aligned tests, SAU90 or we, her parents, will provide level appropriate academic work for her. At no time should her educational time be sacrificed while other students are preparing for testing. It is also our expectation that she will never be singled out so as to be subjected to rude and hurtful comments by her peers (i.e., last year in the lunchroom).

We object to any and all non-academic questionnaires, unless we, as her parents, are given the opportunity to review them beforehand. Under no circumstance do we give permission for SAU90 or its representatives to administer non-academic, psychological, religious or sexual/transgender or bullying related questionnaires. Any and all non-academic content is to be reviewed by us before it is given to our daughter. *** is aware of our guidelines and she will politely and respectfully refuse to participate if she is put in the position, which she shouldn’t ever experience. We also expect to be given the opportunity to review the sexual education/puberty material a week in advance of it being presented.

Lastly, we understand that Google Chromebooks will be used in 5th grade for a number of subjects and or projects. Under no circumstance should ***’s fingerprints, iris scan or facial recognition be used as her login, nor should non-academic information be solicited by SAU90 or any of its or the State of NH DOE’s representatives.

We look forward to another wonderful academic and social year for ***. She loves Marston School and all of her teachers and friends. As ***’s parents, we are always available for open and honest communication regarding all aspects of our daughter’s experience at Marston School.

Thank you for your time and anticipated cooperation. We ask that this information be passed along to Mrs. Dowst, as we do not have her email address yet.


UPDATE: The parents received the following letter confirming their directives would be followed:


How The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Set Students Up To Fail

The Smarter Balanced Assessment set students up for failure. This explains why….

In September 2014, the group that developed the SBAC test announced for the first time that the SBAC test would fail 67% of the students who took the test. Here is a quote from their press release: “Smarter Balanced estimates that the percentage of students who would have scored “Level 3 or higher” in math ranged from 32 percent in Grade 8 to 39 percent in Grade 3. See the chart below for further details.”


NEWFOUND, NH VIOLATES Testing Protocol? Are Their Assessments Now Invalid?

A parent in Newfound NH who REFUSED the Smarter Balanced addressed her School Board regarding the following issues:
1) A new policy for the students who do NOT take the Smarter Balanced Assessment
2) the BREACH in SECURITY on the Smarter Balanced Assessment in her district because students who did not take the assessment were required to sit with the students who did take the assessment (that’s against Smarter Balanced Protocol)
3) Lack of Communication from her elected board members

Start at 1:43:00

More Teaching, Less Testing Please!


It astonishes me how much standardized testing our children are being subjected to in schools today. We have the NECAPS, NWEA, NAEP, ACT, ACT ASPIRE, and now the Smarter Balanced Assessment Tests (SBAT). Do these tests accurately measure our children’s academic knowledge and help to improve education or are they mostly used for accountability for Federal and State funding, teacher evaluation and data mining?

Even before the first SBAT has been administered in NH, the State Dept. of Ed (DOE) is working on yet another assessment mechanism called PACE (Performance Assessment of Competency Education). The details about this program can be found on the Ed NH.Gov website. These tests are supposed to be locally created but if you read closely, they are linked to the achievement level descriptors of the SBAT and need State DOE validation. If PACE is locally controlled, why does it need to be included in NH’s No Child Left Behind waiver application that is to be submitted to the Federal Government by March 31st 2015 and why hasn’t the public had a chance to weigh in? Why are the tests given by our teachers throughout the year based on their lesson plans not enough to evaluate our children’s success?

Maggie Hassan issued a press release dated March 5, 2015 regarding the “Federal Approval of NH’s pilot of PACE. In it, Scott Marion, Director of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessments and Rye School Board member, who has been working on PACE with the NH DOE, said “the PACE competency-based education system provides closer monitoring of each individual student than standardized-tests do and provides the results quickly enough to actually help to improve teaching”. This would seem to mean that the Smarter Balanced tests, on which we have spent millions of tax dollars along with countless classroom prep hours, do not improve education!

PACE also attempts to measure student’s attitudes, behaviors, and dispositions through what the State calls “Work Study Practices” using “performance tasks”. The NH DOE also promised to test for dispositions in the renewal of the Federal No Child Left Behind Waiver. By NH State law, statewide assessments are supposed to measure academic knowledge not a child’s psychological makeup.

Parents around the state and country are opting out of SBAT, and that is a problem for the Educational Industrial Complex. Is the NH DOE now creating a high-stakes system for children? If parents find the assessments inappropriate or the material included objectionable, will they find it difficult to refuse PACE because student’s grades and promotions are now tied to these Common Core aligned assessments? Parents have the Constitutional right to direct the education of their children.

Ask the NH DOE about PACE. Find out what promises they are are making to the Federal Government in the renewal of the No Child Left Behind Waiver and how it will affect NH students and teachers. We must insist that parents and citizens be informed and included in the conversation before these initiatives are adopted!
Shouldn’t we be investing more of our time and tax dollars on teaching and less on testing?

Angela Pont
Portsmouth, NH