Diane Douglas has been hosting Town Hall "listening" events all over Arizona, giving the public a chance to come to the microphone and speak on whatever public school concern they have. The hot topic is Common Core. The event covering Payson will be held in Globe on June 4. Click HERE to read the flyer for details. If you can’t attend, you can send an email to Ms. Douglas at HearingEveryVoice@azed.gov.
Please note some points on the Flyer: 1) High Stakes Testing/AzMERIT. 2) Stop Collecting and Distributing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on our children!
High Stakes Testing/AzMERIT
Here are just a few reasons to oppose AzMERIT and any "High Stakes Test" that is being given to Arizona’s kids:
1) There is no evidence that AzMERIT tests student achievement;
2) Not only is it a useless exercise, but AZMERIT is also psychologically harmful to kids, especially young children and children with special needs;
3) AzMERIT preparation and actual testing time takes away from valuable instruction time;
4) No Arizona teachers had any input into the test questions. They had to sign a Test Security Agreement promising to not even look at the tests. Yet, they, their principals, and schools will be evaluated based on test scores of their students. (This is one of the many reasons you are told by school officials "It’s against the law for parents to opt their children out of AzMERIT." They want your kids there, and they want them to score well.)
5) It is unknown to what extent psychological and behavioral information is being collected through these tests. AzMERIT was developed by one of the world’s largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations: A.I.R. ;
6) Tests were administered by teachers in April 2015. Results won’t be available until November of 2015. Teachers will see scores, but not the tests. They will have no way of knowing how to help their students improve.
7) As if these aren’t enough reasons to make you yank your kid away from this test, see more at Opt Out AZ!
The Arizona Department of Education’s (ADE) collection of student Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
As recently as March 2015, a staff member with the ADE testified before the Arizona Senate Education Committee that ADE does not collect PII. However, a researcher recently found irrefutable evidence that not only does ADE collect PII, but it also distributes it fairly widely. Click HERE to read the document titled "“Requesting Personally Identifiable Information or Data from the Arizona Department of Education." Maybe you, too, can obtain PII on Arizona’s children for yourself through the Personally Identifiable Information Data Request form. (No need to inform parents about what you’re collecting, since Pres. Obama’s Executive Order 12866 gutted the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act aka FERPA).
Because Arizona’s "Data Request Review Board" meets in private—no members of the public may attend—no one knows board membership, how they collect PII, what they collect, or to whom they distribute it. FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests have been submitted.
Policy for the Development of Arizona’s English/Language Arts and Math Standards
On April 27, 2015, the Arizona State Board of Education approved the process to replace the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards." Click HERE for the Executive Summary.
Pay special attention to page 4. Unlike the development of Common Core, which was written behind closed doors, this process will be open to the public with many opportunities for public review and Comment. (If you believe that Common Core was developed through a "public" process, file a FOIA request to the private entities that developed the so-called "state led" process and see how far you get. Those private entities include: National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve, Inc.)
On April 28, Gov. Ducey met with a group of 6 of us who oppose Common Core. He asked for our help in encouraging Arizona citizens to participate in the process to get rid of Common Core. He knows that the pro-Common Core forces are well funded (mostly by the federal government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and well organized. Billions of federal tax dollars and private funding buys a lot of advocacy. Indeed, these groups have been speaking out at the Town Halls. We cannot allow the Common Core forces to hijack this process.
One of the most recent 2015 beneficiaries of the Gates largesse is $3.7 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a vocal supporter of Common Core. Other beneficiaries include A.I.R., the National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, Achieve, Student Achievement Partners, National Association of State Boards of Education, Education Commission of the States, PTA associations, the Military Child Education Coalition, College Board, national and state teachers’ associations, etc., etc., etc. Click HERE to see the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant recipients.
Please make your voice heard.