Tag Archives: SmarterBalancedAssessment

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!

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


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.


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


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
‘‘(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?

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.

VT Board of Ed Trashes Common Core Smarter Balanced Test

Has anyone heard a peep from the New Hampshire Board of Education on this?
Oh that’s right, the Smarter Balanced scores have been sent to the Superintendents with the direction NOT to share that information with school board members (the ones that hire and fire them) or the community until November 12th.
Only Nashua and Alton’s Superintendent released the preliminary scores.

As we are looking at scores plummet due to the flawed assessments that show our schools are failing, Vermont’s Board of Education took a step to notify parents on how bad the Smarter Balanced Assessment is.

According to the blog, “Wait What,” NEWS FLASH: Vermont State Board of Education Trashes Common Core SBAC Test.

Does anyone think the New Hampshire Board of Education will be equally honest with parents? Our advice: DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH!!!


TO: Parents and Guardians

FROM: VT State Board of Education

SUBJECT: Vermont Comprehensive Assessment Program

DATE: 11/4/15

You have received, or will receive in the near future, a report of your child’s standardized “Smarter Balanced” test results from the Vermont Comprehensive Assessment Program. This report is provided in the national assessment consortium’s format. We are working on a friendlier and more appropriate presentation for next year.

Tests are useful if used within the limits of their design, but they cannot provide you with a comprehensive picture by themselves. The State Board and Agency of Education support using a broad range of tools, measures and methods to help you and educators understand and improve your child’s learning.

We call your attention to the box labeled “scale score and overall performance.” These levels give too simplistic and too negative a message to students and parents. The tests are at a very high level. In fact, no nation has ever achieved at such a level. Do not let the results wrongly discourage your child from pursuing his or her talents, ambitions, hopes or dreams.

These tests are based on a narrow definition of “college and career ready.” In truth, there are many different careers and colleges, and there are just as many different definitions of essential skills. In fact, many (if not most) successful adults fail to score well on standardized tests. If your child’s scores show that they are not yet proficient, this does not mean that they are not doing well or will not do well in the future. (emphasis added by Wait, What?)

We also recommend that you not place a great deal of emphasis on the “claims” or sub-scores. There are just not enough test items to give you reliable information.

Essentially, these test scores best serve to show the progress that our schools are making, and to help teachers adapt their curriculum to fit the needs of their students.

As a parent, encourage your child to reach as high as he or she can. Let her or him know that they are worthy and capable. Keep track of how well your child is doing over time and use that information to help your child grow as a learner. Meet with your child’s teachers so that they understand your child and so you can work as a team.

We must give every student a thorough and comprehensive education, and provide the nurturing and support each child needs to grow into an effective, productive, and self-directed citizen. In turn, these young people must be the strong parents for the generations of Vermonters yet to come.

When did you give up local control to the NH Commissioner of Ed? Virginia Barry

NH residents need to start asking themselves, when did they give up local control to the Commissioner of Education, Virginia Barry?
Has our State Commissioner of Education overstepped her boundaries AGAIN?
Who pays the Superintendents?
Who hires and fires the Superintendents?
It’s not the Commissioner, and she has NO right to put our administrators in a position where they cannot share information with the people who pay their salary.
The NH Dept. of Education is again, overstepping their authority and grabbing control away from local communities.

From the Girard at Large web site:

MSD: Withholding Smarter Balanced Assessment scores

The Manchester School District, in response to a right to know request we filed last Thursday, has acknowledged it has received the city’s Smarter Balanced Assessment scores from the state Department of Education and has had them for several weeks. However, in an email sent to us yesterday, Superintendent Debra Livingston denied our request for the scores to be released, saying they would be released in conjunction with the state D o E. (Interestingly, she copied the entire school board on her response, despite our not copying them on our inquiry.)

Results withheld
Just four hours later, the district issued a statement saying the scores will be available to parents and the public on November twelfth. The statement also announced that S A U staff will quote

“soon be reviewing the data and preparing instructional materials for principals and teachers to use in order to interpret and make the best use of the data.”

It also said the data will be sent to the schools later this week and given to teachers on Monday, September twenty eighth. Livingston said the data would be used to quote “establish a baseline of achievement.”

Glassner: Got the info
We made the inquiry after State Board of Education Chair Tom Raffio told Sid Glassner, during his show Inside Education on this radio station, that the state had the assessment scoring and had sent it to school districts weeks ago. Glassner discussed it at length last Thursday during the Girard at Large “Is Our Children Learning?” segment. According to the state department of education, the scores were supposed to be released in July so districts could use the data to inform instruction in the coming school year.

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.”


Compare Manchester to Londonderry on Refusals

Parents have been complaining about the intimidation, misinformation and bullying by administrators in their local school district when it comes to exercising their parental rights to REFUSE the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Schools are required to administer the Smarter Balanced Assessment and cannot arbitrarily exempt students. However parents do have the right to refuse their child’s participation.

Let’s compare a note that went out to the Manchester parents versus the Londonderry parents.
Which letter better explains a parent’s right to refuse? Notifying parents of their Constitutional rights does not violate NH law. If so, where does it say that in statute Commissioner Barry?

Parents, it would be wise to take the Manchester letter to your local school board and ask them to explain why your Superintendent didn’t take the time to explain YOUR Constitutional rights to refuse? Why are they not informing parents? Why are they intimidating, and bullying parents into submission?

We’ve had parents who’ve had to hire ATTORNEYS so the school would back off.

Who does your Superintendent work for? YOU. You pay their salary and whether you allow your children to take the assessment or not, they should not be with-holding information from parents.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
A memo from the Board of School Committee regarding Smarter Balanced Assessment
Subject: Parent Information on Smarter Balanced Assessment

March 9, 2015

Dear Parent/Guardian:

The Manchester School District is required by state and federal law to administer the Smarter Balanced Assessment. It will take place starting March 16, 2015 and must be completed by June 5, 2015. Students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 are scheduled to take the assessment.

It has come to the attention of the Manchester School District Board of School Committee that some parents object to the administration of the test and intend to keep their student from school when the test will be administered. While the Manchester School District is prohibited from encouraging nonparticipation in the Smarter Balanced Assessment process, rather than keeping student home from school during the administration of the testing, upon written or emailed notification by the parent/guardian the student will be relocated and provided alternative programming during the applicable testing period.

There will be no penalty to parents or students who do not participate in the assessment. If you have any questions about the assessment or wish for more information, please contact your child’s principal.
Posted by CommunicationsMSD at 10:36 AM

May 8, 2015
Dear Parent or Guardian:

Smarter Balanced Assessments are the next generation of student assessment and will replace the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) beginning this spring. Londonderry High School, along with thousands of others in 24 states, will participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment in the areas of English Language Arts and Mathematics. The Smarter Balanced Assessment System will give parents more accurate and actionable information about what students are learning. We are certainly sensitive to the amount of testing that has taken place this year, and we are taking active steps to reduce that amount in subsequent years while still maintaining compliance with applicable laws and policies. We appreciate your patience as we work through this transition.

Our teachers are hard at work implementing academic standards that provide consistent guidelines in English and Math at each grade level and help prepare students to graduate from Londonderry High School “College and Career Ready.” These new benchmarks challenge students to develop a deeper understanding of subject matter, learn how to think critically, and apply what they are learning to the real world.

There has been some discussion about the ability of parents to ‘opt out’ of this assessment for philosophical or political objections. Please be advised that the School District does not have the regulatory authority to grant waivers or exceptions of any kind to the SBAC Test. Any decision by individual parents to refuse their student’s participation in SBAC must be documented with the school district by letter or email, and will be considered as parent refusals. Should students be absent from school, all existing absence policies will apply. Medical exemptions are allowable, though they must be approved by the NH Department of Education.

Our high school will administer a paper and pencil version beginning May 11. Tests are not timed; however, it will take approximately 3 to 4 hours to complete each content area test (English Language Arts and Math). Testing will be scheduled over multiple sessions to minimize disruptions. If you have any questions regarding scheduling please contact the school directly.

To comply with federal and state statute, participation in the test is required. Please note that Smarter Balanced will adhere to all federal and state privacy laws, including but not limited to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Please visit the Smarter Balanced website at www.smarterbalanced.org for more information.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at slaliberte@londonderry.org.
Scott Laliberte
Assistant Superintendent
SAU #12 Londonderry School District