The unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test is designed to ensure that the vast majority of Connecticut public school students are deemed failures after taking this year’s Common Core SBAC tests.
Here are the projected results for this year’s SBAC test for 6th graders. [The information comes from the SBAC organization’s own report.]
Projected Common Core SBAC Results for 6th Graders
|English/ Language Arts 6th Grade
||Percent failing to reach goal
|All 6th Graders
||60% Fail Rate
|African American 6th Graders
||75% Fail Rate
|Latino 6th Graders
||74% Fail Rate
|6th Graders (Special Education)
||90% Fail Rate
|6th Graders (English Language Learners
||95% Fail Rate
The Common Core SBAC test is designed to ensure failure because it is testing children at 2-3 grade levels above their present curriculum and because it requires significant computer skills just to get through the test.
The Common Core SBAC test is also extraordinarily expensive, in part because all children must take the test on updated computers, using updated software and utilizing expanded internet bandwidth.
In California, another state that is using the Common Core SBAC test, cost data that is part of a major lawsuit being brought by local school districts reveal that the total cost of the Common Core SBAC Testing farce could be $250 – $500 dollars per child, per year.
Here in Connecticut, the Malloy administration is providing significantly less than 20 percent of the cost of implementing the SBAC testing program, meaning local property taxpayers are literally shelling out tens of millions of dollars for a test that is designed to fail their children.
But rather than tell the truth about the Common Core SBAC testing scam, the corporate education reform industry and their allies are engaged in an unprecedented effort to mislead student, parents, teachers and the public about the SBAC test.
Equally offensive, these corporate funded lobbyists have joined with the Malloy administration and some school superintendents to try and stop parents from opting their children out of these tests and punishing children whose parents have opted them out.
In what may well be the most incredible and absurd defense of the Common Core SBAC test written to date, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, a corporate funded front group for the Common Core and Charter Schools recently published an article entitled, “For Parents, Testing is an Opportunity.”
Jeffrey Villar, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, is a registered lobbyist whose compensation package is in excess of $150,000 a year. His job is to promote the corporate education reform industry in Connecticut.
In a truly bizarre defense of the unfair and discriminatory SBAC test, the front man for the Common Core and Charter School front group writes,
For Parents, Testing is an Opportunity
I have my annual physical this week. It’s not something I look forward to, and I particularly dislike the associated blood test. Nonetheless, the test provides my doctor and me with important information about my health, and we use that data to make decisions that help me live a healthier life. It makes me think: there are some interesting parallels to the standardized assessment that my own children, and all Connecticut children in grades 3-8 and 11, take annually.
I appreciate the value of the SBAC test because I know firsthand that grades don’t provide parents with enough information. In my experience within the public education system, grading practices from teacher to teacher and school to school vary enormously. That’s why I rely upon standardized assessments to accurately understand where my own children stand. If any of my children are behind in school, knowing that early is an opportunity; it gives me time to prepare them before they graduate high school, rather than finding out they’re behind once they’re enrolled in expensive remedial classes in college.
The comparability of the data among students, schools, and districts is also important. Since I am divorced, my children attend schools in two different towns, and I want to be sure that both school systems are preparing them equally for the future. Absent a comparable measure such as the SBAC, it would be hard for me to know.
Despite these benefits, many parents are still concerned about over-testing. Some expend an incredible amount of energy trying to opt their children out of the SBAC. I want to alert these parents to the important benefits of having access to standardized assessment data. Also, my unsolicited advice to concerned parents is this: consider speaking with a principal about your district’s high school graduation requirements. In your earnest efforts to do what is right for your children, you may be inadvertently creating problems; under Connecticut law, districts are generally required to incorporate test results into graduation requirements. There are some exceptions, but you should confirm that your children can still graduate if they miss the test.
Some parents have inadvertently pushed their children into more testing by choosing to enroll them in the Advanced Placement (AP) courses that impress the most prestigious colleges and universities. It’s hard to argue against demonstrating mastery in these advanced courses. However, when stacked on top of SAT and ACT tests in high school, these additional exams may contribute to the notion that there’s too much testing these days.
And Villar concludes,
It’s also possible that when parents talk about schools over-testing their kids, they’re referring to their districts “prepping” kids for the state test. This ill-fated attempt to quickly improve testing results simply doesn’t work, and it does not come from a faulty state-testing system.
Seasoned educators know that the best ways to prepare children to succeed on tests are to engage them in a curriculum that is challenging, to give teachers enough time and resources, and to encourage students to do their best. Somewhat similarly, there is little that I can do to prepare for the blood test at my annual physical in the short term. Only long-term efforts at exercising regularly and eating well will help me pass the test.
Villar’s incredible statements are so misleading that they cross the line into outright lies.
What is worse is that as a former superintendent of schools, Villar knows that he is not providing his readers with the truth.
For starters, here is one important bit of information for Connecticut parents.
It is against state law for a Connecticut school district to require a student to take or pass the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test in order to graduate. The district cannot make passing the SBAC test a required element for graduation, in fact, a school district can’t even require a student take the SBAC test in order to graduate.
Furthermore, there is no federal or state law that allows the state or school district to punish a child (or parent) who opts their children out of the Common Core SBAC Test.
Even the Alan Taylor, the Chairman of the State Board of Education, told a legislative hearing that neither the state nor a school district could punish a child who is opted out of the test.
But like others spokesmen for the Corporate Education Reform Industry, Mr. Villar apparently believes he is not bounded by any moral or ethical duty to tell the truth.
It is a shockingly sad statement, and a powerful commentary on our times, that a leading proponent of the Common Core and the Common Core SBAC testing would engage in blatant lying in order to try and mislead students, parents, teachers and the public.
I have challenged Mr. Villar to debate these issues three times over the past few weeks and each time he has failed to respond.
Rather than spew indefensible statements, the corporate education reform industry should release their talking heads to come out here into the real word and debate their positions in a public forum that would allow the media and citizens to finally learn the truth.
Oh, and if the actions being taken by Mr. Villar and Connecticut Council on Education Reform aren’t offensive enough, check back with Wait, What? this coming week to find out just who is funding these anti-teacher, anti-parent, anti-student, and anti-public school tactics.