Feels Common Core is causing a 'crisis'

To the Editor:

There is a crisis in American education today. And this crisis is Common Core.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test refusals in Sherman, as of April 1, were 23 percent.

Or, 64 of 271 test-taking students in grades 3-8 in Sherman.

So far...

Sherman parents support their children, teachers and schools by refusing to submit their children to this unsafe, inappropriate test.

The SBAC is the Common Core-aligned test. It is being given to third- to eighth-graders and 11th- graders at various times this spring.

Dates vary from town to town and it is known as PARCC in some states.

Throughout the country, more and more parents are choosing their children and communities first. Mass SBAC test refusals send a powerful message to Hartford -- put our children and public schools before corporate interests and Federal control.

I hope we can encourage parents in other towns to also utilize their parental rights. Education experts say refusing the test is the best move for parents.

In my opinion:

Federal government control over education is unconstitutional and something our forefathers knew would be dangerous to our civil liberties.

The SBAC has a predetermined 60-70 percent failure rate, and 90 percent for special education students.

The test is meant to fail students. Teacher evaluations now tied to the students mean the teachers will then fail. The lowered school rating opens the door for the public school to be taken over by a charter school.

The major differences between public schools and charter schools are charters have no elected boards of education, parental input or local representation, and charters are run by investors for profit and they funnel our public education tax dollars away from our public schools.

The SBAC is scientifically invalid, unreliable and experimental.

The SBAC is a psychological assessment, collecting noncognitive data and psychological data.

The SBAC is an adaptive test. Each test is different so the SBAC cannot be used as a measure of academic mastery.

All data from national tests, including SBAC, assessments and surveys can be data mined. So, all of the children's private information will go to the United States Department of Education and any third party which claims to use the data for "educational purposes."

This data is not U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-protected, nor are any medical records, Individualized Education Program, 504 or data collected via schools.

lf this data is considered educational records, thus they fall under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The child's private data via SBAC is not adequately protected by FERPA because this federal privacy rights law was unconstitutionally changed in 2011, by executive order, to allow the collection and accessing of children's sensitive information without parental consent.

The child's psychological data is available/provided/accessible to the federal government and third parties and vendors, some of whom are outside of the United States.

Other states have responded by passing robust data privacy laws. Connecticut has not.

Ed tech companies boast they now collect 10,000 data points per child, per day -- more than Google, Netflix or Facebook.

All parents and citizens should be made aware of these facts so they can make an informed decision about their children's safety, teacher and school ratings, use of tax dollars and the direction of education in our country.

I believe Common Core is not about bettering education, but about molding a compliant workforce, removing parental rights, removing local representation and making billions for corporate America.

There is no other exam in life with this failure rate, inherent safety risks, high stakes and labels for life... and, and certainly not for children.

Will you let your children and our country walk into this mess?

At this late stage in the game, we are in a crisis.

It is our responsibility as freedom-loving citizens and parents, for the sake of our children, and communities and country, to learn about Common Core and SBAC today.

Parents, we will be the ones to safeguard our children, communities and today's education. So let's get started -- ruse the SBAC.

Refusal forms are available at ctagainstcommoncore.org and unitedoptout.com.

Please listen to national expert Anita Hoge,explain at YouTube "The End Game of Assessment" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc_G5GmigkY&list=FLtmXEA3ksXAUBH6GVSqthZQ&app=desktop.

I have been researching Common Core for more than a year and I am willing to help inform others. Please talk with others and share what you know.

There is a crisis and parents and educators need to act now, for our children, community and education.

Susan Zeitler

Sherman