Tag Archives: Londonderry

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?

WARNING: Data-Mining Behavior on NH Students by the NH Dept of Ed

The New Hampshire State Dept. of Education is now tracking your child’s BEHAVIORS:

Do they get along with others? That is SUBJECTIVE
Are they ATTENTIVE in class? That is SUBJECTIVE
Are they going to class “motivated to learn”? That is SUBJECTIVE

These were things that the teacher used to note on the report card, but were not included in GRADING.

Now this information is going to the STATE database which is a defacto NATIONAL database.

You can look at the list of information the State is now gathering on students. NH teachers have expressed concern about where the information goes once they log it into the computers at their school.
Every parent should file a right to know request with the NHDoE to look at all information that has been uploaded on your children AND MONITOR it.

There was a subcommittee hearing today on HB 301, allowing a parent to elect not to include their child in the unique pupil identification system or other information database maintained by the department of education.

It’s important to also note that NH DoE Michael Schwartz is a consultant ($269,390 federal grant recipient through Demonstrated Success, Rye, NH) who testified on the database.

The best thing to do is to support HB301. That way if you want to elect to take your child out of the database, you have that option.
Send and e-mail telling the reps and senators to support HB301 so we can opt out children out of tracking our children.
HReps@leg.state.nh.us, Senators@leg.state.nh.us

The NH schools are transitioning to the dumbed down workforce development model.
Public schools used to offer a liberal arts education focused on the academics and arts.
Under Obama’s redesign, Public education is being redesigned to a workforce training model.

This kind of workforce training model could be seen in European countries like Germany. It’s also important to note that their students do not finish top in the world on the international tests.

The purpose is to track students to a career or college. That’s why the govt. needs information on their character, etc.
All of this information is then fed into the data base.
In Londonderry administrators were talking to kindergarteners about career choices recently.
In some states like Texas, legislation has been passed that will put a child in middle school on a “career” path.

In order to determine where your child should go in life, they need to collect a large amount of information.

Marc Tucker who sat on the Common Core development team spells it all out here.

Note the time/date of the Tucker letter. This was tried under the Clinton admin. but was never fully implemented. Under the Obama admin. they are actively driving the agenda now.

Common Core supporters will never put their own kids in a public school. This kind of dumbed down workforce training isn’t good enough for their kids.

Bill Gates’ kids do not attend public schools.
Obama’s kids do not attend public schools
Soon to be “Former US Sect. of Ed” Arne Duncan’s kids don’t attend public schools.

They go to elite private schools where the focus is on academics so their kids can go in any direction they want in life.

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

LONDONDERRY: Residents Continue to Question Smarter Balanced Testing

Residents Continue to Question Smarter Balanced Testing
April 10th, 2014
By Jay Hobson

Londonderry resident Laura El-Azem asked the school board for a status update on a waiver of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing that is scheduled for next year.

The tests replace the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP).

Superintendent Nathan Greenberg told El-Azem at the Tuesday, April 1 School Board meeting, that the waiver is moving ahead.

“It’s going to be part of a waiver proposal that the state is putting in to the federal government, so we think we’re in pretty good shape on that,” he said. “What we are going to be doing next year is Ready Step in grade 8, Ready Step in grade 9, and Pre SATs in grade 10 and in grade 11. My guess is our proposal stands an outstanding chance of being approved by the federal government.”

Read more here: Residents Continue to Question Smarter Balanced Testing