ALERT – Students opted out of SBAC testing must be provided alternative location during testing

Here we go again…

With the Common Core testing frenzy about to begin in public schools across Connecticut [SBAC testing takes place between March 15 – June 10, 2016], parents are once again reporting that some school districts are informing them that if their child is opted out of the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core tests they will be required to stay in the testing room and “sit and stare” during the entire testing period.

Such a practice is not only an unethical form of bullying but it violates the State of Connecticut’s Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) regulations.  Any superintendent, principal or school administrator who requires or allows a “Sit and Star” policy to exist risks losing their certification to work in a Connecticut school  as a result of Connecticut State Statute 10-145b(i)(1).

Students who are opted out of the SBAC testing scheme must be provided an alternative location and are not allowed to stay in the room where testing is taking place.

According to the Connecticut State Department of Education’s “Smarter Balanced: Summative Assessment Test Administration Manual”

“Students who are not being tested or unauthorized staff or other adults must not be in the room where a test is being administered.”

The requirements in the SBAC Test Administration Manual are not optional.

If your child is forced to “sit and stare” or you know of a child who is forced to stay in the testing room during the SBAC testing, that is a serious “security” violation and should be reported to your school district and to the State Department of Education.  If you need assistance, please contact Wait, What? at [email protected] and we will help you file a complaint with the appropriate officials.

For additional background see:

Smarter Balanced: Summative Assessment Test Administration Manual English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics 2015–2016 Published January 3, 2016 (page 2-4)

Security of the Test Environment:  Security requirements for the test environment during various stages of testing. The test environment refers to all aspects of the testing situation while students are testing and includes what a student can see, hear, or access (including access via technology). English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics 2015–2016

Violation of test security is a serious matter with far-reaching consequences. Breaches of test security include, but are not limited to, copying of test materials, failing to return test materials, coaching students, giving students answers, and/or changing students’ answers. Such acts may lead to the invalidation of an entire school district’s student test scores, disruption of the test system state-wide, and legal action against the individual(s) committing the breach. A breach of test security may be dealt with as a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility for Teachers, as well as a violation of other pertinent state and federal law and regulation. The Connecticut State Department of Education will investigate all such matters and pursue appropriate follow-up action. Any person found to have intentionally breached the security of the test system may be subject to sanctions including, but not limited to, disciplinary action by a local board of education, the revocation of Connecticut teaching certification by the State Board of Education,* and civil liability pursuant to federal copyright law. *See Section 10-145b(i) (1) of the Connecticut General Statutes which reads in relevant part as follows:

The State Board of Education shall revoke any certificate, authorization or permit issued pursuant to said sections if the holder is found to have intentionally disclosed specific questions or answers to students or otherwise improperly breached the security of any administration of a state-wide examination pursuant to Section 10-14n.