MACC Presentations for April 2015!!!
MACC will also be presenting in the Eagan area on April 30th. That venue is TBA but start time is set at 6:30pm. We’ll let you know on that venue as soon as we know. Additionally, we expect to have a May presentation in the Apple Valley/Rosemount area.
We look forward to seeing you!
At Operation Opt-Out we’ve been keeping track of the school districts where parents are opting their children out of the MCAs (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments) across the state.
The MCAs are the federally mandated (yet unconstitutional) assessment required by our state adoption of the No Child Left Behind waiver (also unconstitutional). When Minnesota DOE Commissioner Brenda Cassellius (who is unaccountable to the voter) signs onto a waiver to receive federal monies, the Minnesota executive, legislative and judicial branches choose to follow the hundreds of pages of regulations and policies as set out by the federal government. Other states have signed on to one of the two national consortias developed to meet the Common Core Standards, the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia) or the PARCC (Partnership of Assessment for the Readiness of College and Career). A smaller group of states like Minnesota, has had alternative tests developed to meet both the Common Core and College & Career Ready Standards.
In all three cases, we find heavy involvement with the Pearson testing company. Pearson is solely behind the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments as well as the PARCC testing consortia. Pearson helps fund the SBAC testing consortia.
Many parents are concerned that neither parents nor teachers are able to view these tests and the tests are meant to match the standards and curriculum. Parents are not allowed to view before or after the testing procedure. Additionally, Minnesota school districts are using numerous standardized tests beyond the MCAs and up to as many as 14 standardized tests a year (not to mention prepping for the tests).
Parents in Minnesota are increasingly aware of and concerned with the data collection and mining for personal information that exists now over these computer-adaptive and multiple choice tests. Dumbed-down testing, such as multiple choice tests, are merely a way to “catch” data points on values and behaviors as evidenced by the numerous psychometricians employed both by Pearson and AIR (American Institutes of Research) of which Minnesota students were subjected just a year ago.
This map signifies the school districts where some students have been opted out of the MCAs. We do not have absolute numbers by districts but this is a first step in recording the opt out movement in Minnesota. Please add Sauk Rapids when viewing the map!
ATTENTION MACC MEMBERS!! CALL TO ACTION!! SF1495
A special thank you to Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, who is offering an Amendment regarding the excessive volume of surveys given to our children. This Amendment requires an “Opt In” instead of an “Opt Out” as is the practice now. We have heard many stories about surveys that are occurring with “passive” consent. These surveys may contain offensive subject matter and/or take up far too much classroom time. We are very concerned with the intrusive collection of data on our children as well as a lack of parental notification. This Amendment will not apply to the MN Student Health Survey, which occurs every 3 years. The MN Student Health Survey will still have the “opt out” ability. This is an important start to peeling back the layers of the intrusion in our children’s life, and needs your support.
Please call and email Senator Wiger – Senate Education Chair ASAP and ask him to please include Senator Kiffmeyer’s Survey Amendment in the Education Policy Bill SF1495. THE HEARING IS TOMORROW, MARCH 19th, so we need you to act quickly and please take the 5 minutes to do this. You may use the script template below or create your own.
Senator Wiger can be reached at (651) 296-6820
Hello, my name is _____________________. I live in __________________, Minnesota. I am calling today to ask that Senator Wiger include Senator Kiffmeyer’s Student Survey Amendment in the Education Policy bill SF1495, to protect our children from intrusive data collection. Our children are being asked to answer information on surveys that is beyond their scope of understanding in both content and consequence, while taking away from instruction time and giving data to parties outside of the school. I am concerned this data exposure puts my child’s personal information at risk, and is something that can affect their future. The amount of surveys that are occurring are taking away valuable instruction time, and offer no viable educational enhancement.