Public school students in grades 3-8 will begin taking the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Tests this week. Children in PARCC States, the alternative Common Core Testing Program begin taking their tests last week.
The Common Core SBAC Testing period runs March 17 – June 15, 2015
The following is just one of the many reasons parents should opt their children out of the destructive Common Core SBAC Tests.
Read the following statement that was provided to all states administering the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Tests;
Please note that the social media Web sites are being monitored by Smarter Balanced Communications staff members.
In fact, the SBAC consortium has enlisted the help of state governments, school districts, schools and test administrators to participate in their spying operation.
The SBAC Spying Memo is entitled, “GUIDANCE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING DURING THE FIELD TEST,” and it states:
The Consortium is closely monitoring social media networks for security breaches and escalating to states when appropriate.
Test Administration Procedures
To get ahead of the problem and reduce the number of security breaches on social media, we encourage you to refer to the Smarter Balanced Test Administration Manual (Appendix B) for detailed information on the impact and definition of incidences as well as the timeline for reporting these activities.
Sites to Monitor
Twitter (https://twitter.com/.) If your school has a Twitter account, you can take advantage of following your students by requesting their @username and/or encouraging them to the follow the school Twitter account.
- To search for conversations and posts about the Field Test, consider the following search queries: #sbac or #smarterbalanced; #[insert name of school] or @[insert school Twitter handle] and “smarter balanced” or “sbac”
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/) If your school has a Facebook page, invite your students to join. If your students have public profiles, you can also search their news feed and photo gallery for security breaches.
- Similar to Twitter, you can conduct searches by entering “smarter balanced” or “sbac” or “[insert name of school]”
Statigram (statigram.com.) Statigram is a webviewer for Instagram and allows you to search and manage comments more easily. You will need to create an account for yourself to search comments on Statigram. If you have a private account, you can use this information to login and review information.
- To search for posts about the Field Test, use the same search queries recommended for Twitter.
And for those who think the SBAC statement and instructions are simply being used to scare districts, schools, teachers and students into adhering to the SBAC security guidelines, think again.
Just last Friday New Jersey blogger Bob Braun reported that Pearson, the company that produces the Common Core Tests, was spying on the social media posts of New Jersey students. After the story was posted, a cyber-attack brought down his site. See: ALERT: Bob Braun’s Blog Has Been Attacked and Closed Down After Post About Pearson Spying on Students.
Here in Connecticut, there is even a memo from SBAC to the Connecticut State Department of Education highlighting their spying activity;
The memo is dated April 4, 2014 (during the last year’s Test of the Test) and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) writes,
“Connecticut has experienced a large number of test security breaches during the first two weeks of testing. Students have had access to cell phones during testing and are posting pictures of test items to social media Web sites.
Please direct all Test Coordinators and Test Administrators to review Section 3.1 “Security of the Test Environment” in the Online Field Test Administration Manual (TAM).
Test administrators should be actively monitoring test sessions and should ensure that students do not have access to cell phones or other mobile devices during testing.”
And the corporate and government spying on Connecticut’s children is just the tip of a much larger and disturbing iceberg of danger and deceit.
Data about Connecticut’s Children:
The Connecticut State Department of Education, like state education agencies across the country, are telling parents that the massive amount of data collected on our children will remain secret. The Connecticut State Department of Education reads;
“All confidential data are stored on secure servers behind stringent multi-level firewall protections and monitored by sophisticated intrusion detection software. Data are only accessible to individuals with the requisite authorization.”
But then there is this….
“[Connecticut State Department of Education] retains ownership of all confidential data that may be shared with any other organization pursuant to an authorized agreement.”
Connecticut State Government retains ownership of all confidential data shared with other organizations?
The data collection process associated with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium SBAC Test is through an authorized agreement with the American Institutes for Research.
According to the company’s website,
“AIR is one of the nation’s leading providers of academic assessments, and has been providing accessible, standards-based statewide adaptive testing services since 2007…”
AIR has partnered with Data Recognition Corporation, one of the nation’s most respected assessment organizations, to deliver these services.”
And so how safe is all that confidential data that is owned by the Connecticut State Department of Education but shared with companies like the American Institutes for Research and the Data Recognition Corporation?
(May 19, 2014), The American Institutes for Research, a major research and testing organization with a significant presence in K-12 education in the United States, suffered a serious data breach earlier this month.
After one of the organization’s servers was hacked, the sensitive personal information of as many as 6,500 current and former employees, including Social Security numbers and personal credit card information, was compromised, an AIR spokesman confirmed during an interview Monday with Education Week. No student or client information was affected.
Claiming student data was safe, AIR’s director of public affairs explained, “The breach only affected our business systems.”
And just last week, AIR was hit with another “cyber-attack,” this one via the software running Florida’s Common Core Test.
“Citing testing provider American Institutes for Research, the [Florida] state education department said the hack, which is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, “will not compromise student performance on the test or any personal student data.”
This is the week to opt your children out of the Common Core SBAC Test….
And if your local school administrator says that is a problem, point them to the Wait? What? Blog for guidance for how to handle their moral, ethical and legal responsibilities.
Then remind them what George Orwell said in his book, 1984,
Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.