SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENT REFUSAL FORM for Parents / Guardians

Attached (below) is a Refusal Form which can be printed out, signed and submitted to your school principal's office.  Parents may OPT OUT or REFUSE to allow their child to take the SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENTS which will be given starting in the Spring of 2015.

 

 

SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENT REFUSAL FORM

 

I, _______________________________________________________, am indicating to school

       (Parent / Guardian name)

 

administration that my son/daughter, ______________________________________________,

                                                                                        (Child’s name)

 

In grade _________ is refusing to participate in the administration of the Grade 3-8 and 11

 

Smarter Balanced Assessment.

 

I understand that if my child is in school during the testing days, they will be brought to an alternate location with supervision for the duration of the testing period.  No alternate assignment will be provided.  Students should bring a book to sit and read during that time.

 

Parent / Guardian Signature __________________________________Date _________________

 

Please return the signed form to the appropriate school’s Main Office.  Thank you.

 

Why would parents want to OPT OUT?

 

In the Spring of 2015 New Hampshire public schools will administer the Smarter Balanced Assessments to students in grades 3 – 8 and grade 11. 

Parents may OPT OUT or REFUSE to allow their children to take this assessment and there are many good reasons WHY A PARENT SHOULD OPT OUT:

·      Behavioral Assessment:  Smarter Balanced Assessments include psychological questions, which measure student’s disposition -- his values, attitudes and beliefs, not just his academic abilities.

·      Privacy Concerns: Smarter Balanced Assessments are online assessments that send private student information and answers directly to the SBA Consortia and then to the US Department of Education.  There is no timeline established to erase any of this private student information, which may then be shared and sold for research or marketing to corporations -- without parental consent.

·      Adaptive Assessments:  No two assessments are alike because the test adapts to the individual strength or weakness of each student.  Practically speaking, it’s impossible to compare scores when all students are taking different assessments.

·      Secrecy:  Students and teachers are asked to sign a confidentiality statement, promising not to talk about or share any assessment information.  Parents are not allowed to review and inspect these assessments in violation of federal law.

For more information, go to NH Families for Education website: NHFFE.ORG

 

Click on attached file below for a printable form:

NH Families for Education is Seeking Legal Statements -- Upholding Parental Right to Refuse Objectionable Assessments

Parents are being told by school administrators that their written requests to Refuse or Opt-Out their child from the Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced assessments are not valid. This is false. It's deliberate intimidation of parents and it must be stopped!

NH Families for Education is looking for a few good attorneys to write statements, upholding the well established right of parents to direct the education of their children, including the refusal of a school administered assessment. Parents have refused to allow their children to take assessments for years in New Hampshire.

This is a well established tradition, one that the NH Department of Education has documented and tracked. "Parent Refusals" can be verified on the NH Department of Education's own website:

 

NH Families for Education would like to help stop these efforts to isolate and intimidate good parents, acting in the best interests of their children. As such, NHFFE is looking for legal statements that can be shared with parents in their fight to protect their children.

FEDERALIZING EDUCATION BY WAIVER ? by Derek W. Black

The "Conclusion" of a  51 page paper -- "Arne Duncan's NCLB Waiver ILLEGAL" by Derek W. Black, which is attached at the bottom of the article:

     With no more power than the authority to waive noncompliance with NCLB, Secretary Arne Duncan achieved a goal that educational equality advocates had long sought, but never secured: the federalization of public education.  His path to the "holy grail" of education, however, was fundamentally flawed.  He only reached it by imposing waiver conditions that were neither explicitly nor implilcitly authorized by the text of NCLB. Thus, he exceeded  his statutory authority and violated the Constitution's clear notice requirements regarding conditions on federal funds.

     States only acceded to these new and unforeseeable terms because their impending non-compliance with NCLB put so much at stake financially, practically, and politically.  By the time Secretary Duncan announced the conditions, states were out of options and left in a position where the Secretary could compel them to accept terms that, under most any other circumstances, they would reject. The administration took the states' vulnerability as an opportunity to unilaterally impose policy that had already failed in Congress. In doing so, the administration unconstitutionally coerced states.

     An explict grant of conditional waiver power could have cured some of these problems, but not all. To have justified conditions as broad as Secretary Duncan's, the statute would have had to either explicitly authorized the types of conditions Secretary Duncan imposed or explicitly grant him an open-ended authority to condition waivers. The former is implausible because Congress does not possess perfect foresight. The latter is unconstitutional because it would not have been constrained by an intelligible principle. It also would have granted the Secretary a power broader than any other previously approved by the Court.

     The import of this analysis reaches far beyond education. An agency power to remake the law through statutory waivers may be a useful and efficient mechanism for adapting laws to changing circumstances and needs. Congress can, and likely will, explicitly extend this authority to some agencies in the future. But as the experience of NCLB's conditional waivers demonstrates, conditional waiver power, if not carefully circumscribed, is fraught with practical and constitutional dangers. It has the potential to give agencies a power that exceeds that of legislation under which the agency is acting. The executive can unilaterally achieve ends that neither it, nor Congress could have achieved through negotiated legislation, including bringing states futher under the regulation of agencies than the organic statute the agency is waiving. In these respeccts, conditional wiaver authority can threaten the balance of powers Constitution secrues between states and the federal government, and between Congress and the executive. Thus, it is no surprise that the NCLB waiver process helped spark a series of bitter legal fights at all branches of local, state, and federal government, with Congress suing state legislature and vice versa over the Common Core Curriculum, and teachers and students suing states over changes to teacher evaluation and retention rights. Next in line is a direct challenge to the Secretary of Education's authoirty to impose and enforce the conditions it exacted in exchange for an NCLB waiver. This Article provides important guideposts for resolving that dispute.

 

 



GOP House Leadership Opposes Homeschooling Bill, HB 1571


Rep. Shawn Jasper testified yesterday, January 25, 2012 AGAINST House Bill 1571 "on behalf of the House Republican Majority office," i.e., Rep. DJ Bettencourt.  Oddly enough the GOP leadership was the ONLY opposition to the bill at the public hearing before the House Education Committee.

In his testimony Rep. Jasper defended his opposition to changing the home education law by saying parents could not be relied on to properly assess their children.

Rep. Jasper does not trust parents.

He claims that because homeschool parents were not certified teachers it was legitimate to require that they still assess their children every year and send those assessments to someone else for oversight. He said that it is the state’s responsibility to protect children and to give them the “best education we can.”

This is clearly discriminatory since non-certified teachers in non-public schools have no such requirement to assess their students annually -- let alone send those assessments to the state for oversight.

When parents told Rep. Jasper that they were disappointed with his testimony, he said that homeschool parents should have to “prove they are doing a good job.”

So much for the presumption of innocence:  that individuals are innocent until proven guilty. 

Parents were shocked that the majority office of the House opposed this common sense bill that recognized the right of parents to direct their child’s education.

However, when checking with the majority office, it was discovered that the majority office had absolutely NO OPPOSITION to the homeschooling bill.  Rep. Jasper had just fabricated that very tall tale -- all by himself.


Please contact Rep. Jasper (shawn.jasper@leg.state.nh.us) and Bettencourt (betts24@gmail.com) and tell them to support this homeschooling bill.  Even lobbyists didn't testify against HB 1571!   2012 is an election year and homeschoolers may recall that their homeschooling legislation did better under Democrats rule of the House in 2010 than under Republicans in 2012.  In 2010 Rep. Ingbretson's homeschooling homeschooling bill fell 16 votes short of passage out of the House.

The current bill, HB 1571 eliminates the requirement to submit annual homeschooling evaluations, eliminates probation and eliminates termination of homeschooling programs in NH.  Additionally, it protects homeschoolers from privacy violations as federal regulations now allow for the distribution of student data without parental permission, even to foreign countries.

Parents would still be required to have their children evaluated annually, but those evaluations would stay with the parents.  These assessments "Shall not be used as a basis for termination of a home education program" and they "Provides a basis for a constructive relationship between the parent and the evaluator, both working together in the best interest of the child."



Text of HB 1571:  <http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2012/HB1571.html>

Detailed analysis:
Given the that No Child Left Behind and other federal programs intrusively collect private student data and then allow the distribution of this information without parental permission, it’s reasonable to protect these private records, allowing parents to maintain these records and evaluations at home.
 
New rules were announced last month by the Obama Administration and its Department of Education regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Students’ data is now more accessible. These new rules allow, without consent by parents, the government and even private companies to share students’ information.  The government can even share this information with foreign countries.
 
So the need for privacy is a very real concern.
 
However, many parents currently work with public schools to have their home schooled children evaluated.  So frequently both parties know the test results.
 
These test results should only a talking point.  Our objective should be how can the district constructively help the child, if or when it is needed.  Not how can the child be placed on probation or can someone terminate his program.  No public school program is ever terminated over poor test results.  So change is equitable.
 
Home schooled child’s records should not be maintained by public schools and disclosed under federal mandate.
 
Consider other home schooling statutes: 40 states have no procedure to terminate home schooling programs based upon test results.
 
Only 15 states require testing.  9 states require a review of the portfolio; one state (MN) requires a portfolio review but doesn’t require the submission of the evaluation.
 
Only 10 states have provisions to terminate a home schooling program.  Probation is found in only 4 states ranging from 1 to 2 years.
 
NH has the highest bar for standardized testing in the nation:  over 40th percentile. The range is 13th to 40th percentile or the top 2/3 to 3/4 stanine.
 
WV has essentially unlimited probation in that if the student is under the 50th percentile (which seemingly is the highest requirement), yet all that is needed is a demonstration of year-to-year incremental progress.  A student can go from the 6th percentile to the 7th percentile in a year and that’s sufficient incremental progress.  Thus, WV never terminates.

 

States

Evaluation

Probation

Termination

CO

13th percentile

 

yes

FL

 

1 yr. probation

yes

HA

top 2/3 stanine (grades 3 & up only)

 

yes

NH

40th percentile

1 yr. probation

yes

NY

33rd percentile

2 yr. probation

yes

OH

25th percentile

 

yes

OR

15th percentile

 

yes

PA

 

 

yes

VT

 

 

yes

VA

top 3/4 stanine

1 yr. probation

ye


 
There are currently over 5,400 registered home schoolers in NH. That's is roughly 3% of the school age population.  Yet many home schoolers in NH are underground, up to half the home schooling community is underground.  Estimates are that nearly 5% of the school age population is currently being home schooled.
 
Home schooling is a nationwide grassroots movement in response to the lack of recognition for parental rights in public schools.
 
Over the last ten years enrollment in NH pubic and private schools have fallen by 8% due to demographic changes.  At the same time NH home schooling enrollment has gone up by 33%, which does not even include the underground. [Information taken from the NH DoE website: http://www.education.nh.gov/data/attendance.htm]

 

Bait and Switch from Commisioner Barry on Smarter Balanced Testing in New Hampshire

Here's the Bait:

Back in September of 2013 NH Commissioner of Education told parents and district administrators that waivers would be available from the Common Core aligned testing, Smarter Balanced Assessments.  Mayor Gatsas was at this meeting and told the commissioner that his district was seeking a waiver.

Londonderry, Alton, Dover and Manchester school districts have shown a continued interest and been working hard to obtain waivers for their districts. 

Londonderry and Alton would prefere that 11th graders take the Common Core aligned SATs rather than the Common Core aligned Smarter Balanced Assessments.  These two school districts are focused upon completing this task, which include becoming a test site for the SATs if the district doesn't already have such status.  

Manchester school district just wrote to the commissioner worried about any potential loss of state funding if their district does not administer the Smarter Blanced assessments.

Nashua school district is plowing ahead because school board members were frightened that they'll end up in jail if they act in the best interest of their students and refuse to administer these Smarter Balanced assessments.  They sought a legal opinion and were told that they must comply with all rules and regulations by the NH Board of Education....even though it's apparently the Commisisoner of Education that leading the way.

Now comes the Switch:

On December 16th at the NH Board of Education meeting, the commissioner suddenly states publically that there are no waivers to the Smarter Balanced Assessments.  There are only accountability systems

Alton and Londonderry will not obtain waivers because there are none to give.  Parents are told that every school district in the state must agree to replace the Smarter Balanced assessments with the SATs for 11th grade students, or no district may do so.

Can districts get together and replace ALL Smarter Balanced assessments with something else?  If this is the case, why isn't this information open and public, not the subject of closed door meetings between the commissioner and state superintendents?  In particular, last Friday, Dec. 12th the commissioner met with superintendents across the state to discuss this new stipulation. 

How long was this information be withheld from parents, elected school board members and state legislators, many of whom are opposed to Smarter Balanced assessments?

Rochester School Board Approves Behavioral Survey

Rochester School Board just approved the district giving students in grades 7-12, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. This survey is being paid for by the Safe Schools/Healthy Students federal grant the district was given earlier this year. The vote to administer this survey was 10-3.

Privacy Concerns

Students don't write their names on the survey.  However, given the demographic information the school already has on each student and the demographic questions on the first page of the survey, it's sufficent to identify every student taking the survey. It is a simple algorithm and since the data is obviously compiled by computer, the school can quickly identify the student. So the survey is not really anonymous.

Studies have demonstrated that 87 percent of all Americans could be uniquely identified using on three bits of information. 

In a district that constantly struggles to meet a 90% goal in reading and math, this is just another distraction and opportunity for data collection.

2105 Risk Behavioral Survey

Click here for a copy of the behavioral survey that will be administered to students this spring. Parents have the authority to opt their children out of this survey. 

2013 Risk Behavior Surveillance Report

Survey data is used to compile a report.  Click here for a copy of the 172 page report - "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance" that came out in 2013, based on a previous survey.

The report covers:

Behaviors that contribute to unintential injuries

Never or rarely wore a bicycle helmet

Never or rarely wore a seat belt

Rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol

Drove when drinking alcohol

Texted or E-mailed while driving

Behaviors that contribute to violence

Carried a weapon

Carried a gun

Carried a weapon on school property

Threatened or injured with a weapon on school property

In a physical fight

Injuried in a physical fight

In a physical fight on school property

Did not go to school because of safety concerns

Electronically bullied

Bullied on school property

Forced to have sexual intercourse

Physical dating violence

Sexual dating violence

Felt sad or hopeless

Seriously considered attempting suicide

Made a suicide plan

Attempted suicide

Suicide attempt treated by a doctor or nurse

Tobacco use

Ever smoked cigarettes

Smoked a whole cigarett before age 13 years

Current cigarette use

Current frequent cigarette use

Smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day

Tried to quit smoking cigarettes

Smoked cigarettes on school property

Bought cigarettes at a store or gas station

Ever smoked cigarettes daily

Currently smoked cigarettes daily

Current smokeless tobacco use

Current cigar use

Alcohol or other drug use

Ever drank alcohol before age 13 years

Current alcohol use

Someone gave alcohol to them

Five or more drinks in a row

Largest number of drinks in a row was 10 or more

Ever used marijuana

Tried Marijuana before age 13 years

Current marijuana use

Ever used cocaine

Ever used hallucinogenic drugs

Ever used inhalants

Ever used ectasy

Ever used heroin

Ever used methamphetamines

Ever took steroids without a doctor's prescription

Ever took prescription drugs without a doctor's prescription

Ever injected any illegal drug

Offered, sold, or given an illegal drug on school property

Sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV intextion

Ever had sexual intercourse

Had sexual intercourse before age 13 years

Had sexual intercourse with four or more persons during their life

Currently sexually active

Condom use

Birth control use

IUD or implant use

Shot, patch, or birth control ring use

Birth control pill; IUD or implant; or shot, patch or birth control ring use

Condom use and birth control pill; IUD or implant; or shot, patch or bith control right use

Did not use any method to prevent pregnancy

Drank alcholol or used drugs before last sexual intercourse

Taught in school about AIDS or HIV infection

Tested for HIV

Dietary behaviors

Did not eat fruit or drink 100% fruit juices

Ate fruit or drank 100% fruit juices one or more times a day

Ate fruit or drank 100% fruit juices two or more times a day

Ate fruit or drank 100% fruit juices three or more times a day

Did not eat vegetables

Ate vegetables one or more times a day

Ate vegetables two or more times a day

Ate vegetables three or more times a day

Did not drink milk

Drank one or more glasses per day of milk

Drank two or more glasses per day of milk

Drank three or more glasses per day of milk

Did not drink soda or pop

Drank soda or pop one or more times per day

Drank soda or pop two  or more times per day

Drank soda or pop three or more times per day

Did not eat breakfast

Ate breakfast on all 7 days

Physical Activity

Did not participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on at least 1 day

Physically active at least 60 minutes per day on 5 or more days

Physically active at least 60 minutes per day on all 7 days

Participated in muscle strenghtening activities on 3 or more days

Used computers 3 or more hours per day

Watched television 3 or more hours per day

Attended physical education classes

Attended physical education classes daily

Played on at least one sports team

Obestiy, overweight, and weight control

Obese

Overweight

Described themselves as overweight

Were trying to lose weight

Did not eat for >24 hours to lose weight or to keep from gaining weight

Took diet pills, powders, or liquids to lose weight or to keep from gaining weight

Vomited or took laxatives to lose weight or to keep from gaining weight

Other health-related topics

Ever had asthma

Routine sunscreen use

Indoor tanning device use

Eight or more hours of sleep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manchester School District's Letter to Commissioner Barry Regarding Smarter Balanced Assessments

Manchester School District's letter to NH Commissioner of Education Virginia Barry concerning the withholding of Federal Funds from the district in anticipation of the district not complying with the administering of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Parental/Student Privacy and Smarter Balanced Assessment "REFUSAL" Form

Superintendents should stop intimidating and bullying parents when they use notification forms to Opt Out their child or Refuse to allow their child to participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment or any assessments that a parent deem objectionable.

Parents should report any School Superintendent or Principal who violates their parental fundamental right to refuse to allow their child to participate in any assessment, or including any privacy issue listed on the form.

Superintendents, and principals should be careful not to violate a parent's fundamental right to direct the education of their child.  Please bring any legal concerns to your attorney or share your concerns with NH Families For Education at NHFamiliesforEducation@gmail.com

The Student Privacy Protection Opt-Out Request form is made available as a general reference and guide for concerned parents. This website does not provide legal advice. Nor is the Student Privacy Protection Opt-Out Request form intended as a substitute for legal advice. Furthermore, no attorney-client or confidential relationship is created or implied by use of the information therein.

Any signed written notification from the parent should suffice.  Below are a couple of refusal forms for your convenience.  

 

 

For an alternative Refusal form click on file attached below:

November 2014

Vol. 5, Issue 11

A must-watch video for parents

 
 
This is a powerful video made by parents and educators.  
 
 
 
Take 20 minutes to watch it, and then:
 
  • Share the video with your friends: 
  • Contact your elected leaders and tell them you want Common Core eliminated from your schools. 
  • Vote for candidates that will eliminate Common Core.
 
YOU hold the key to protecting your children.  Speak up and be heard.

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