Tag Archives: testing

School Administrators in NH Bullying Parents and Children on Testing

Every year we read or hear from parents about how their school administrators are misleading parents who refuse to let their children take the annual standardized test. Some administrators even resort to bullying parents and children.

If you are concerned about the mental health of children, is it then appropriate for school administrators to mislead and bully parents and children into this testing scheme?

We’ve got a mess in New Hampshire and it comes directly from the removal of local control in education. Policies on testing and accountability (not to parents but to bureaucrats) have created a situation where parents have lost their voice. No longer can they opt their children out of harmful testing practices without school administrators coming after them because they are afraid they might lose some $$ money.

Go to your local school board and insist on a policy of NO BULLYING, MISLEADING and PRESSURING parents into harmful testing practices. No school district has lost any $$ money over test refusals. Even if they did withhold funding, is it worth the mental health of your children to participate?


This year Greenland administrators sent an e-mail to parents with misleading information on testing. Here is how a physician/ parent responded:
Letter to Editor:

May 18 — To the Editor:

The concern for Greenland students’ social-emotional well-being that prompted the elimination of seventh and eighth grade accelerated math in October has now taken a sharp decline in May (see Greenland Dumps Accelerated Math, 10/23/16).

In an email sent primarily to fathers of students on Wednesday, Principal Peter Smith expressed his frustration with “an inordinate amount of parent refusals for eighth grade Smarter Balanced (SBAC) Summative Assessment.” He indicated there would be an impact to school funding, stating, “If that 95 percent [of participation] is not met, federal dollars could be withheld from the state,” citing the NHDOE Assessment Administrator as the source of this information.

He went on to warn, “Under the law there is no option for an official opt out request,” hinting that GCS is honoring parental refusals out of good will.

The truth is that we still live in a country where parents are free to make choices that are in the best interests of their children. There may not be a state law providing an option for an official “opt out” request, but there is no state law prohibiting a “refusal.” And according to federal law under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), p.144-145:

″…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.”

The disapproval of opt outs is also evident at school on testing days, where children testing are given substantially more recess time, treats and rewards, while children opting out are assigned to sometimes noisy rooms for silent reading and not allowed to participate in the extra social activities.

It seems the emotional well-being of bureaucrats in Concord is superseding that of our children in Greenland. Parents are being asked to ignore what is best for their children, and children are expected to bear the burden of securing school funding by enduring almost 15 hours of testing – testing that was designed to compare districts, not improve their learning. The American Board of Emergency Medicine re-certification exam that assesses a physician’s ability to make life and death decisions is no more than 5 hours. The real problem lies in the bureaucracy that imposes this excessive, age-inappropriate testing, not the students and their parents.

The children opting out may be missing out on extra recess and doughnuts, but they are learning a valuable lesson – following your conscience about what is best for you is not always the easiest path, but it is usually the right one.

Aida Cerundolo


REFUSE to COOPERATE: Where’s the Smarter Balanced Assessment Results?

We URGE you to refuse to cooperate in further testing days or testing time for SBAC tests UNTIL the SBAC sends back useful information to all parents, teachers and schools based on the 2015 assessment.

Then schools, teachers and parents will jointly decide if the information the SBAC sends back on individual students is pedagogically useful.

Bureaucrats at the NH Dept. of Ed said the results would be timely. The SBAC was needed so they could get the results back to schools quickly. They said the results would be released in July, then August and NOW NOVEMBER.

While schools continue more and more testing to prepare for the Smarter Balanced Assessment, this becomes and even bigger debacle by the day.

How the Reformers Destroyed Standardized Testing

A superintendent recently described standardized testing as a tool to compare schools with. He went on to say that only one test is needed so they can measure how they are doing compared to another school in the state.

No, that wasn’t the purpose of standardized testing. Standardized tests, when used properly, were a tool that parents could use to see how well their child was doing compared to other children who took the same test. Some schools would use the Stanford Achievement Test, the California Achievement Test or the Iowa Basic Skills Test. (Notice they are all achievement TESTS)

Students have been taking standardized tests in the past and it’s been a helpful tool. Parents could then address the school administrators if they felt there was room for improvement. It is a great way to engage parents in the education of their children.

Remember when the schools actually used achievement tests (tests of academic knowledge) versus the new psychometric assessments of your child’s values, attitudes and dispositions? Let’s face it, when did you ever hear of an uproar over a school using the Stanford Achievement Test?

The new testing scheme forces schools to use “assessments.” Assessments are very different from achievement tests. The new assessments measure things like values, attitudes and dispositions in a child. This information on your children will be needed as Obama’s dumbed down workforce training requires a large amount of data on each child. This is how the STATE will determine where your child goes in life.

Bureaucrats now want to know everything about your children versus give YOU, the parent, valuable information on how well your school is performing.

Parents are now turning on testing. They are refusing to let their kids take these psych assessments because they know that this no longer benefits them. Why let the government data-mine information on their children that can possibly be used against them someday in the same way they are using them against their schools and teachers?

Standardized Testing and how reformers destroyed it:

1) No Child Left Behind (NCLB) began to punish schools based on test results
2) NCLB and Common Core (CCSS) began collecting personal data on children
3) CCSS started punishing teachers with the test scores
4) NCLB and CCSS shifted the focus to giving info to bureaucrats versus informing parents
Achievement tests offer feedback to parents so they can engage the schools.
Reformers destroyed this practice when they decided psych assessments for their use was the primary purpose of standardized testing.

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

New Hampshire Teacher Speaks Out Against High Stakes Testing

This was recently posted on a public face book page.  We wanted to make sure that parents were aware of it and want to thank all teachers who are showing real courage by speaking out against the damage of high-stakes testing in our New Hampshire schools
From a Hooksett teacher: Maryann DeLuca Boucher

Dear Mayor Gatsas!

I am writing to thank you for your ROCK SOLID stand on CCSS and it’s unfriendly cohort- SBAC!

I was extremely disappointed to hear that the Board of School voted against your well informed voice and moved forward with the charge to administer SBAC to the children in the Manchester School District!
I thought of you when I saw this article..


It is evident that you remain current on the controversail topics in this educational reform, I thank you for that!
Sadly, the Board of School doesn’t follow your lead. If they did, they wouldn’t be afraid to take a stand on doing what’s best for children.
I stand along side second grade teacher, Kelly Tambouris, and agree wholeheartedly with her position on the over use of assessment- especially High Stakes testing.

Thank you for all that you do for the children of the Manchester School District- you make a difference!

Maryann Boucher
Kindergarten Teacher
Hooksett School District
SAU #15

Governor Hassan’s Commissioner BEGS for MORE Standardized Testing

Council of Chief State School Officers Beg Congress to Keep Mass Standardized Testing in place.

NOW who is PART of the Council of Chief State School Officers from NH?
That would be Commissioner Virginia Barry
This is who Governor Hassan appointed as the Department head.

YOU can THANK Governor Maggie Hassan for the continued destruction in public education and the problems teachers are describing in their local schools.

Instead of working to RID our schools of this destructive practice, they are lobbying for it to CONTINUE!


What Is Going On Behind Closed Doors At The New Hampshire Dept. Of Education?

We encourage parents to read the full article below.  The New York Dept. of Ed is now engaged in encouraging school administrators to manipulate and lie to students.  

While this is a different scenario that should send shock waves to parents across the country, we’d like to remind everyone that our own NH Commissioner has regular PRIVATE meetings with NH Superintendents.   These private meetings are not open to the public so we cannot request notes or records.

While we are not suggesting the same kind of manipulation is taking place, it has concerned us for a long time that the Superintendent who is supposed to work for the local taxpayers, is now engaged in private and closed door meetings with the NH Commissioner of Education.

It is examples like the one below that makes us even more concerned about this lack of transparency on the part of the NH Dept. of Ed.

We’d also like to remind local school board members that the Superintendent works for THEM.   The local school board is accountable to the taxpayers.   It has been suggested by some that local school boards cut off the funding to Superintendents who attend these closed door meetings with the NH Commissioner.  We’d at the MINIMUM, suggest that the Superintendents report directly to the School Board during public meetings and report what is going on in these meetings.  There is NO reason the Superintendent cannot take notes and share this information publicly with the local board and community unless they have been told to keep the information in the meetings confidential.  IF that is the case, we have an even bigger problem in this state.

We call upon Governor Hassan to stop these closed door meetings with her Commissioner of Education and bring transparency back to the NH Dept. of Education.

New York State Field Tests: ‘Students Should Not Be Informed’ Of Connection To Standardized Exams

Posted: 05/28/2012 4:10 pm EDT Updated: 05/28/2012 4:12 pm EDT

A memo has recently surfaced in which the New York State Department of Education appears to encourage educators to mislead students about upcoming standardized field tests meant to “provide the data necessary to ensure the validity and reliability of the New York State Testing program.”

“Students should not be informed of the connection between these field tests and State assessments,” the memo reads. “The field tests should be described as brief tests of achievement in the subject.” (Read the document below.)

The memo is signed by Candace Shyer, interim executive of the state’s Education Department, and was sent to The Huffington Post by Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters, a nonprofit organization that advocates for smaller class sizes.

Read more here

Common Core in NH: It’s a DISASTER

Below is a link to a Manchester School Board meeting where a teacher is speaking out on the over-testing that is going on in the district.  This again is part of the “redesigning” by President Obama in our local schools.
Common Core supporters in the Legislature were SO happy that the U.S. Department of Education issued NH a waiver from No Child Left Behind, however they didn’t think about how this would impact our local schools.
To many legislators like Governor Hassan, Senator Hosmer, Senator Stiles, Rep. Gile, etc.  this is now the fall out from your support of Obama’s “redesign” in our schools.
Our teachers are starting to speak up, but are you going to listen ? Or continue to ignore the critics?
Common Core is known to many as NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND on STEROIDS.  
Now you will know why…..

MIN 25:00

Manchester Teacher – Sue Hannon says “Teachers are under a tremendous amount of STRESS… When do we actually get to teach students? The past 17 days…12 days were spent doing ASSESSMENTS. They didn’t even TEACH anything”.


The Final Straw: Cancel Our Labor Contracts, We Cancel Your Tests

OPT OUT OF THE STATE TEST: The National Movement posts:

When the State Recovery Board cancelled Philadelphia’s teachers contract, it may have removed the last hurdle to a national opt out movement of standardized testing.

Up to now, teachers have only sporadically refused to administer these fill-in-the-bubble falsely objective, poorly written and cheaply graded tests. The reason: fear of losing employment.

However, now that is not an impediment. When teachers in the 8th largest public school district in the country are forced to accept take-it-or-leave-it terms, there is no longer safety in following the rules.

The Philadelphia decision shows that poor districts can be taken over just because they’re poor and somehow that justifies sweatshop conditions for the teachers and their students.

The main justification the data crunchers use to make this determination is students’ standardized test scores. Not being educators, themselves, they have no other tool to judge success or failure. They blithely ignore the fact that rich kids score higher and poor kids score lower.

Therefore, teachers would best serve their interests and the interests of their students by refusing to provide this data. Moreover, the country’s two largest teachers unions - NEA and AFT – have promised to defend teachers opting out of testing.

A wholesale movement of this kind beginning in poorer schools and spreading to the more affluent ones would force the corporate education reform machine to a halt. It would offer an opportunity for real reform – an attack on the roots of the problem: inequitable funding and abject student poverty.

The last straw has fallen. The revolution is about to begin.

Read more here.