Category Archives: Pearson

Operation Opt-Out Minnesota

it office

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!

Operation Opt Out #13

 

MACC DAY AT THE CAPITOL 2015

cropped-header1.png

MACC Day at the Capitol 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015 

Rally: 9:00am Upper Mall Steps of the Capitol
Meeting: 10:10am  State Office Building Rm 400N

TIMELINE:
9:00am – 10:00am Rally Capitol Steps
(Bring your Rally posters or MACC yard signs)

10:10am Check-in/Welcome table State Office Bldg
Name Tags – MACC Buttons

10:20am – 11:30am Speakers including:
Senator Roger Chamberlain
Rep. Jim Davnie
Rep. Sondra Erickson
Rep. Jason Isaacson                                                                                                     Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer

Rep. Eric Lucero

Rep. Jim Nash

Rep. Dennis Smith

MACC leadership speaking on MACC’s vision in growing the grassroots, working with our legislature and the mission of our school groups.

Brief explanation of how we will visit with legislators.

11:30am Bag lunch (bring your own lunch) or Eat in the Cafeteria

12:00pm Visit your legislators / education committee

1:00pm Rm 400N clear

Parking is best in the Department of Transportation/State Office Building parking lot.

http://mn.gov/admin/images/capitolvisitor.pdf

MN.GOV

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED! Call Representative Erickson

URGENT ACTION NEEDED!!!

MACC has 3 bills related to parental rights and data collection!!! We have been working very hard and need YOU calling TONIGHT & TOMORROW MORNING for IMMEDIATE ACTION in support of these bills!  THEY WILL NOT PASS UNLESS YOU EMAIL and CALL IN!!!  Be sure to leave your name and city.

TONIGHT’S IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED:  Post it on your timeline/Call your friends or send them an email!!

CALL REP SONDRA ERICKSON, CHAIR OF THE HOUSE EDUCATION POLICY COMMITTEE.   Call even if she is not your constituent representative.

Rep. Sondra Erickson:    rep.sondra.erickson@house.mn  651-296-6746 / 800-709-0578

Ethan Hellier, her legislative assistant:  651-296-5380  

SCRIPT:   My name is …. And I live in the city of ……, Minnesota.  I’m calling to ask Rep Erickson to hear Eric Lucero’s, Parental Curriculum Review bill, House File (HF) 1777 in her committee TOMORROW!!! It is important to me and our family that parental rights be protected in Minnesota.  (You may put this however you wish.)

If she does not hear it, the bill will die with no chance of passage.  We need everyone in the state emailing and calling her office at the Capitol! 

Here is this very reasonable bill to protect a parent’s right to see the curriculum.

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=House&f=HF1777&ssn=0&y=2015

 We will start loading in the other bills  but they are not immediate needs for tonight.  The other bills will need to have emails and calls, also.  This is how you pass a bill into law.  Everyone needs to work together to make this happen.   MACC has worked super hard for the last nearly 2 years.  Thank you for caring about the children and families of Minnesota!

  

“It’s Nearly-Spring Minnesota!” Parade of School District Surveys – Matchomatics

High School Students Sitting in Bleachers

Welcome to the world of surveys!  This week we begin our series on surveys and questionnaires given 1 – 2 – 3 times per week at your local public or private school.   The vast majority are assigned via online learning and through student assigned ipads or chromebooks. Surveys can take up a lot of valuable classroom time.  99% of all surveys are nonacademic.   Most importantly,  surveys are an invasion of privacy, most often assigned without parental notification or consent and given for the expressed purpose of collecting  data for marketers, researchers, and government agencies.

Parents and the general public have yet to be told “why” and “for what reason” great volumes of survey data is being collected on children and teens.  Important to note:  Parents and students, you can opt out of surveys – you need only refuse.

Join us now as we start our “It’s Nearly-Spring Minnesota! Parade of Minnesota School District Surveys”!!!    First up,  Anne Taylor informs us of the “Mathomatics” survey given in the Minnetonka School District (as well as other districts in the state).   This survey looks like fun, but all that data can easily be “lifted” by unaccountable 3rd parties!  Minnetonka has already had issues with data breaches.

Matchomatics:  The “Ultimate Student Matching Fundraiser”

by Anne Taylor

Matchomatics is a popular student matching (or compatibility) fundraiser hitting schools around Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day, even Homecoming.  Students fill out a questionnaire including their name, birth date, height, hair color and other questions of likes and dislikes that teens can relate to (favorite foods, sports, colors, music, etc).  While the students fill out the surveys, the company comes up with the matches and then a school club sells the results.  But some questions are a bit more revealing and may contain sexual content which raised a complaint most recently in January of this year at Enka High school in North Carolina.

There are other formats of the questionnaire that Matchomatics subscribers may use which includes questions such as:  How you communicate with your parents, which way you lean in politics, or where you get your money from.  And while Matchomatics claims they don’t sell the data, the information is put into a data system.  Should that data get hacked, that’s an awful lot of information on a minor, including the name of the school and address.  At Minnetonka High School, parents received no notification of this survey.  To
add to it, approximately 20 minutes of instructional classroom time was used to take the survey.  You can find the Matchomatics link here:http://matchomatics.com/usa/index.htm

Attached is a copy of the actual survey taken at Minnetonka High School this year.

Matchomatics pg 1

Matchomatics pg 2