You should NOT let your child take the SBAC test this spring!
The federal government paid two companies about $350 Million to create the Common Core (CC) tests. They companies created the Partnership for College and Career Readiness (PARCC), and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests.
About half the CC states have already backed out of PARCC and SBAC tests, Nevada has not.
This year from March through June, all Nevada public and public charter school students in grades 3-8 will be given the SBAC exam.
Only one Washoe County School District (WCSD) board member has children in grades 3-8, his children will not take the SBAC test. At the 2/23/16 WCSD board meeting another board member said, "I am disturbed, however, about this SBAC. I am more disturbed about it every day that I read about it."
In February 2016 over 100 education researchers at California universities called for an end to SBAC and PARCC testing.
The SBAC test is more of a Student Data Mining tool than an actual Criterion Referenced Test; here’s why you should NOT let your children take the SBAC test:
1) This is a secret online test, only students can view it. What makes SBAC and PARCC different from any other test in United States’ history is the amount personal data collected, stored, and shared on students who take the test. Both Common Core testing consortiums (PARCC and SBAC) signed an agreement with the federal government stating: "The SBAC (PARCC) is required to ‘provide timely and complete access to any and all data collected at the state level’ to the federal government DoE, or its designated program monitors, technical assistance providers, or researcher partners, and to GAO, and the auditors conducting the audit required."
These unknown entities will obtain raw SBAC data, much more than teachers, districts, and parents.
In other words, any information gleaned about our children on this secret 9-10 hour test MUST be share by the SBAC with almost anyone who asks, except parents. Most parents will never know who obtains what data on their children, or how the data will be used.
2) Since parents and teachers cannot view the test or see the raw test results, we are not positive all of the information that will be gleaned from our children who sit in front of the computer for hours and take this inappropriate test. We are pretty sure at least two of the entities who will be obtaining raw SBAC data will be developing psychological profiles on children who take the test. See pages 27-43.
3) The test is designed to fail over half the students.
4) In Nevada up to 50% of a teacher’s evaluation will be based on different aspects of student performance on the SBAC test; therefore, some teachers will spend countless hours attempting to prepare for the test.
5) Test results will not be returned to Nevada until next school year so the test is useless to teachers, parents, and students. Through 3/19/16 many NV parents still have not seen test results from tests taken last school year, but SBAC and several entities including the two mentioned in item 2 above have the raw data generated by children who took the secret 10 hour test last year.
6) The SBAC test is an online, computer adaptive test, meaning the test gets harder as a student answer questions correctly, and easier as a student answers questions incorrectly. Every child could be taking a different test.
7) In February 2015 the SBAC was determined to be unconstitutional in Missouri, so they withdrew from SBAC. There are lawsuits in at least four other states challenging the constitutionality of the SBAC: North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, and West Virginia. There are currently only 14 states, including Nevada, using the SBAC. That number will likely decrease, at present it looks like Nevada will "go down with the ship."
8) Teachers, administrators, parents, and students across the country are refusing to give and/or take Common Core (CC) exams. Most large Common Core states including New York and California have formal statewide opt-out procedures; Nevada does not. New York is two years ahead of Nevada in giving CC tests. Last year statewide 20% of NY students opted-out of CC tests, some schools had 80% of students opt-out.
9) The test is very expensive for Nevada, and the price keeps going up as other states withdraw from the SBAC.
10) There are no consequences to Nevada students or parents for children who opt-out of the SBAC test. However the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) has threatened every school in the state that if they do not have 95% participation on the SBAC test they will automatically be a One Star School.
To protect your children in grades 3-8, and their most personal data, do not let them take the SBAC test.
If you have questions or would like more information visit our Facebook page - Protect Nevada Children.
Updated April 2017
A few substantial developments for this year: one from New Hampshire, one regarding American Institute for Research, and one regarding SBAC.
1) Here's what New Hampshire teachers have to say about the SBAC test:
"1. Shockingly negative experience
2. Totally grade level inappropriate; difficult even for some teachers with advanced degrees
3. Seems the test was designed more as a psychological or sociological experiment, not as a measure of academic learning. Who created this test, anyway? It couldn't have been by professional educators.
4. This would be a crushing emotional experience for my students....
5. It is nothing less than child abuse for my special ed. students in my classroom.
6. I refuse to administer this test to my students."
Last year we knew that:
a) American Institute for Research (AIR) was, "one of the world's largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations".
b) AIR is the online test delivery system for SBAC.
c) AIR gets an incredible amount of raw SBAC data, much more than teachers, districts, and parents on students who take the 6-7 hour secret, computer adaptive test.
2) Recently we learned AIR is very involved in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), if you watch at the 26 minute mark you will realize assessment is a big part of SEL.
If you watch the entire hour video it becomes clear both AIR and Collaborative Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) want Social and Emotional data on our children.
Washoe County School District (WCSD) is one of only 10 SEL experimental districts in the country.
Unfortunately, WCSD has invited AIR and CASEL into our schools via the SEL.
And to make matters worse only two of the SEL experimental districts in the country give the SBAC test; WCSD and Sacramento, CA. California is protective of student data, Nevada is not.
Starting on 12/01/16 we at Protect Nevada Children started asking WCSD how SEL will be assessed and who will have access to the data, through 4/18/17 they will not respond.
In addition, there was an anonymous donation to WCSD of $250,000 for SEL; the school board claimed they did not know where the donation came from.
Protect Nevada Children eventually learned the anonymous donation came from CASEL.
It is quite possible that this school year, AIR (and CASEL) may be getting raw SBAC AND SEL data from only one school district in the country - Washoe County School District.
3) In the name of test security, the SBAC will be "spying" on student social media accounts during SBAC testing. On pages 102 and 103 SBAC also gives suggestions on how states and local districts can do the same.
We are not sure if WCSD, the state of Nevada, or other local NV districts, will also be spying on student social media accounts during SBAC testing.
Please share this information with others, especially parents of 3rd-8th grade students.
Protect Nevada Children,