Action Plan for Parents and Concerned Citizens:
1. For parents, opt-out of ALL Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC). The field assessments begin next week, March 24. These are pilot assessments for the benefit of corporate profiteers and DC. There should be no consequences to your child for opting out. Here’s a form you can print out and take to your school: MI_opt_out_form-1
For all concerned citizens including parents:
2. Contact state lawmakers in the House of Representatives and Senate and tell them: “Bottom line, we want assessments that are not aligned to the Common Core, because, as our legislators acknowledged in HCR 0011, Common Core does inappropriate things we do not want.” What do we want? Tell them we want:
1) Statewide assessments owned, developed and controlled by Michigan– not assessments written and controlled by consortium’s or private companies2) Statewide assessments that can be administered by paper and pencil– not assessments that require every district to invest in more computer technology3) Statewide assessments that test developmentally appropriate knowledge– Not assessments that drive specific teaching techniques, encourage political bias or interpret student values and behaviors4) Statewide assessments that gather student level data for use by teachers and parents and share only aggregate data beyond the school level– not assessments that share individual student data with outside entities.
Online assessments, curriculum, and technology in the classroom make it possible to collect large amounts of data on children. It’s all about the data and tracking children from “P-20” from prenatal to life long learning.
What’s the reason for collecting all this data and how will it be used? A presentation at the White House explains how education data mining (EDM) will be used at the individual level. The alleged intent is to collect millions of data points to help students succeed by telling them what to eat for breakfast so they can score higher on the exam.
Success on a test satisfies the desires of lawmakers and school officials but what about the effect on children and their data privacy? Do we really want the government knowing that much about our children? Who else will see the data and what other ways will it be used? When asked by if student data was protected, the federal government’s answer was “it depends.” That’s not good enough. What is Michigan’s answer to data privacy?
Governor Snyder has a P-20 Longitudinal Data System Advisory Council which will develop the policies and models for data collection and insure privacy,
3. Develop and recommend state and educational entity model policies related to data collection, maintenance and reporting for the P-20 longitudinal data reporting system, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
a. Storing unique student identifiers and matching student-level data in postsecondary data systems;
b. Reporting student-level remedial coursework for institutions of higher education to high schools;
c. Connecting individual teacher data to teacher preparation colleges;
d. Ensuring the privacy of individual student data, including that a student’s social security number is not released to the public for any purpose.
When I called the Governors office to ask about student data protection and what policies were in place, the aide didn’t know. It appears that the Common Core is holding our children to a standard but state and federal officials get to make up the privacy protections as they go along. That’s not good enough.
It’s time to take action and tell Lansing, DC, and corporate elites that parents and teachers not assessments and data will direct our children and their future.