Late yesterday afternoon, Dianna R. Wentzell, Governor Malloy’s Interim Commissioner of Education issued a directive to Connecticut school superintendents reiterating the lie the Connecticut parents do not have the fundamental and inalienable right to opt their children out of the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Testing Program.
For information about the letter see Wait, What? Post: Malloy’s Education Commissioner seeks to stamp out parental rights on Common Core SBAC Testing opt out
After months of silence and despite the overwhelming fact that there is no federal or state law that allows the government or school districts to punish children (or parents) who opt their children out of the Common Core Testing Scam, Malloy’s interim Commissioner of Education incredibly instructed school superintendents to continue their unethical and immoral harassment of parents who are seeking to protect their children by opting them out of the Common Core SBAC Tests – A test that is rigged to ensure that as many as 7 in 10 Connecticut public school students are deemed failures and that more than 90 percent of special education students and English Language Learners have “fail” attached to their academic records.
Last year, attorney Alan Taylor, the Chairman of the State Board of Education, made it extremely clear in his testimony to the Connecticut General Assembly that these was no mechanism to punish students (or parents) who opt their children out of the Common Core SBAC Tests.
With that background, the Interim Commissioner’s action is not only highly inappropriate but suspect.
What is going on behind the scenes that would lead Malloy’s Commissioner to issue a threatening letter that seeks to limit parental rights?
As John F. Kennedy said,
“The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.”
Considering the decisions are being made by public employees, who are paid with taxpayer funds, Connecticut parents have a right to know who and why their government is seeking to limit their rights.
To that end and pursuant to Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act, the Interim Commissioner of Education (and her staff) is being asked to turn over all documents, communications, emails, attachments and memos about the Common Core SBAC Test Opt-Out issue that were written, sent or received since January 1, 2015.
Parallel requests are being submitted to a select group of school superintendents who have maintained that parents do not have the right to opt their children out of the Common Core SBAC Test. This list includes the school superintendents of Westport, Fairfield and Ridgefield Connecticut, as well as others.
Connecticut’s Freedom of Information laws require that the receipt of these requests be acknowledged within twenty-four hours and that the materials requested by provided in a rapid and appropriate time frame.
Furthermore, since the requests are for electronic copies of all documents, communications, emails, attachments and memos about the Common Core SBAC Test Opt-Out issue that were written, sent or received since January 1, 2015, these public officials are required to provide the information free of charge.
As the information is provided, it will be posted here so that Wait, What? readers and the public can learn the truth about why government officials are engaged in an ongoing effort to prevent parents from utilizing their constitutionally guaranteed right to protect their children from the damage that will be caused by the Common Core SBAC testing.
At the State Department of Education, the Freedom of Information request will be directed to Interim Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell, her Executive Assistant and Kelly Donnelly the State Department of Education’s Director of Communications and Community Partnerships.
Superintendents receiving the Freedom of Information Act requests include;
Westport Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon
Fairfield Superintendent of Schools David Title
Ridgefield Superintendent of Schools Deborah Low
To illustrate the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory nature of the Common Core SBAC test, a parent need only look at the projected “Failure Rate” for students with disabilities that require special education services.
These pass/fail “cut scores” were adopted by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium in November 2014 with Governor Malloy’s administration voting in favor of the “cut scores,” while the representatives of the governors’ of Vermont and New Hampshire (the other two SBAC states in New England) abstained in the vote, refusing to support the discriminatory pass/fail “cut scores.”)
As readers can see, the projected “Failure” rate for special education students on the Common Core SBAC Test [A rate that mirrors that of other demographic sub-categories of students] is more than immoral; it is nothing short of illegal.
|SBAC Test (Sub-Group Special Education/IEP)||% Projected to FAIL|
|3rd Grade – Special Education Students||84.2% Projected to FAIL|
|3rd Grade – Special Education Students||81.6% Projected to FAIL|