Hello to all of you! What a busy week our state encountered last week! Most of you probably have heard that the CO State School Board has voted YES to repeal the PARCC testing and have CO pull out of the consortium. They do not have the legal authority to officially pull CO out. This is in the hands of the legislation. The legislators have to write a bill to do this or the governor writes an executive order (which we all know will not happen this year). However, we have HB 1202 that will give ALL districts the opt out option (from PARCC) and develop a study group/task force to do a thorough evaluation of PARCC and cost analysis. This group was amended to not be tied to special interests of Common Core as WestED is. WestEd has been contracted by the CO Dept of Ed to be the analysis group. However, they receive large amounts of money from Gates and actually have their hand in writing the standards, curriculum and assessments related to Common Core. Please go to our website to do your fact checking or look up WestEd yourself. This is a huge monopoly of special interests, including Pearson Publishing who owns CMAS testing materials and MAPS testing.
This brings me to the URGENT request….PLEASE refuse to have your students tested during CMAS or any further MAPS testing! You DO HAVE THE RIGHT AS PARENTS TO SAY NO! There currently is NOT an “Opt out” but there is a “Parent Refusal” that is on the CDE site (and can be found on our site www.stopcommoncorecolorado.webs.com) that is under Test Invalidation pg. 69. The school will NOT be marked down for a “non-participating 0” but WILL be marked down if a student starts the test and then does not finish or does poorly on it. What the school will not get is the “reward points/bonus points” for participation. These points are used if a school is in the high risk category of failing or low performing. They can use their reward points to boost their status. (Amazing how these points don’t reflect academic achievement). You also must know that these tests this year are new and have to be done on computers. They are the transition to PARCC and are the social studies/science tests. Remember English Language & Arts in the Common Core Standards are “English Language & Arts in Literacy in Science, Social Studies & Technology”. The CDE has stated that their will be a grace period for teacher/principal evaluations related to the pilot phase (this year) and so they expect scores to be low. What they are interested in is “participation” so they can get an accurate assessment of how much bandwidth the district needs to invest in to implement the testing next year. This is the year to work on “glitches”. Parents who have already been exposed to this last week state they have been told that even the scratch paper, a student uses, is sealed in an envelope marked with student’s identifier and sent directly to Pearson. They need to evaluate the child’s work. You have control of your child today; please fight to keep it. We need to act today and say NO we won’t comply. Your school districts need to stand on our State Constitution and say NO we won’t comply. Many districts are such as Burlington RJ-6. Their resolution is the best one I have read and is solid and concise. I urge all concerned parents to copy it off our website and take it to your superintendent/school boards and take a stand. Dr. Sandra Stotsky has called all of us parents to do this and to stand NOW. Her letter is downloadable as well on the website. Print it and distribute it as well. This is how we will push back until our legislators and Governor listen to us. New York had 30,000 students push back against PARCC and refuse to test 2 weeks ago. We need to learn from the states that have been already through the painful process. Don’t allow school districts to go bankrupt from this fiscal irresponsibility. Don’t allow your student’s private information become a bankroll for “third party special interests” with undisclosed names. Know who gets your information….your student’s information….your teacher’s information!
If there is a time to take a stand….it is now. If you do not then that is your choice but when the smoke clears you will be saying….”why and what happened.”
Write each legislator and tell them to get on the ball and pass HB 1202 at least until we have a repeal bill. If they would have stayed and done their jobs on opening day of the Rockies and got HB 1202 out of appropriations then the bill could be moving along further. My guess is it will stall and be placed in pending status for next session 2015. So this leaves us with PARENT REFUSAL to test. Pray about this but make no mistake….time is running out….fast.
Integrity in Leadership