To Survey or Not To Survey…Oh, and Opt OUT of State Testing :)

State testing isn’t the only thing parents have control over in their child’s time at public school. There are other things you can opt out of besides state testing. One of them is the Kansas Communities that Care survey. I’m attaching (at the bottom of the post) it here so you can see it for yourself. This one is sometimes viewed as an “opt in” rather than an opt out. So, that means that they have to notify you about it, you have to sign that you DO want your kid to do it, or else it is assumed that your child will not be participating. I’ve seen a few variations on this, so, it’s possible that your district could be offering either opting in or opting out.

Basically, this is a big data collection point. Some districts, like my own, no longer offer it. If yours does, then you can absolutely opt out of it. Many districts just send home a form to sign and it’s just that easy.

One of our KACC leaders submitted testimony about this survey back in February of 2015, I think. In part, here are some of the points she made:
• Parents are told the surveys are anonymous. However, the first 20 items the kids fill out are personal identifiers. These include: school district, building number, age, grade, gender, race, number of siblings, grades (A, B, etc.) usually received, parents’ level of education. Consider this being administered in a small school district; it wouldn’t be very hard to pretty accurately determine individuals.
• If the information on the surveys is completely anonymous, then why isn’t the complete data from the surveys available to parents and the public? Per Nancy White, with the Southeast Kansas Education Center – Greenbush administering agency, they “protect” the data, with only data down to building level being provided to school superintendents. If it’s anonymous, why does the individual survey level data need to be protected?
Considering the amount of personally identifying questions in combination with the type of questions and manner in which they are phrased, it is disturbing to me that, until recently, parents were not even apprised of their kids taking the test. But even the notification we received last year was misleading, at best. And, parents only having the option to “opt-out”, rather than “opting-in”, especially without explicit knowledge of the survey, is concerning.
• Do the intervention programs change student behavior? I asked Nancy White whether there was any data to substantiate whether the Intervention programs implemented as a result of these surveys actually resulted in a change in student behavior. She said “no”, her agency doesn’t have evidence based programs with measurable results. She mentioned that some organizations may have evidence based programs, but that hers doesn’t. One such organization that does have evidenced based programs is the Regional Prevention Center in Olathe, KS. Schools may also elect to forward survey information to other organizations, such as the Johnson County Mental Health Center.
• School approved activity. From a broader perspective, I have to ask WHY is the inclusion of these types of activities deemed acceptable in our education institutions. This survey is not germane to the education of a student. While education institutions have taken on the mantra of the myriad of social issues and causes, I do not want schools “instructing”, and thereby “influencing”, my kids in these areas. I especially do not want my kids being tracked, inventoried or graded in these areas.
CONCLUSION
At issue is the fact that, as Nancy White with the Southeast Kansas Education Center – Greenbush explained to me, passive permission by parents was changed last year to now require an active permission to occur for kids to participate in this survey. Her concern is a perceived lower participation rate due to parents having to actually “opt their kids in” to taking the survey. She stated that “parents forget to send things back”.
So, there is concern that fewer kids will complete the survey. There is concern that parents will forget to submit the permission form. The concern over not “enough” students completing the survey because parents may not “do what we perceive they need to do”, results in agencies and institutions setting up environments to make allowance for perceived lapses in human beings to “do the right thing” to “force” or “ensure” the desired outcome.
However, in my (a parent’s) opinion, the needs and goals of the agency are super-ceding what is in the best interest of the student. The needs and goals of the agency have super-ceded the express right and responsibility of the parent to determine what is in their child’s best interest. This is an invasion of privacy of children and families.
There used to be an assumption of privacy. If a person or group wanted an individual’s personal information, they had to go through steps to acquire that information. Now, there appears to be an assumption of a lack of privacy. With this presumption of no individual privacy, the individual must go through steps to protect and prohibit others’ acquisition of private information. This is backwards.
I find it amazing that this and other agencies have a problem with acquiring parent permission to collect data on students. Students are not the property of the state or any agency or any other institution. Students are individuals whose parents have the sole responsibility for their well-being. There is not a baby factory spitting out kids somewhere in Kansas, who are then “placed” by the state with adults to be raised under the auspices of the state. Babies are born to parents, who have the privilege and responsibility of raising them to the best of their ability (even abilities not necessarily looked favorably upon by others) and protecting them. Data on students attending educational institutions, whether it be obtained through surveys or other processes, is not the innate property of those institutions. It is the student’s data, and parents must be allowed every opportunity to prohibit the data collection in the first place. Having to ask for permission, “mother may I”, to acquire data seems a simple and civilized thing to do.

As a general rule, I say “no” to all of these sorts of things and much, much more. Believe it or not, you have more say in your child’s education than you think. So, say no to this survey and ones like it, and then since you’re on a roll, go ahead and say no to state testing while you’re at it. 🙂2016-KCTC-Comprehensive-1-1

Advertisements

INTRODUCING HB 2292!!!

HERE WE GO…HB 2292
IN CONJUNCTION WITH CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY KANSAS GROUP, WE AT KANSANS AGAINST COMMON CORE ARE SO PROUD TO CO-SPONSOR HB 2292 !!!
…AND IT’S TIME…TIME TO MAKE CALLS!! (Blue Links are HOT…click and go!)
Hides.jpg
IT’S TIME TO TACK SOME HIDES TO THE BARN!
Action Items:
1) Calls and emails to the House Education Committee are VERY important RIGHT NOW. Tell them you support HB 2292 and you want them to, too!!
2) Please check in with our website and Facebook page several times a week for updates and calls to action.
3) Spread the word to your friends and family! We need ALL HANDS ON DECK!

Ron Highland ron.highland@house.ks.gov 785-296-7310
Jerry Lunn jerry.lunn@house.ks.gov 785-296-7675
John Barker john.barker@house.ks.gov 785-296-7674
Tony Barton tony.barton@house.ks.gov 913-680-5597
Sue Boldra sue.boldra@house.ks.gov 785-625-2250
John Bradford john.bradford@house.ks.gov 785 296-7653
Rob Bruchman rob.bruchman@house.ks.gov 785-296-7644
Diana Dierks diana.dierks@house.ks.gov 785-296-7642
Willie Dove willie.dove@house.ks.gov 785-296-7658
John Ewy john.ewy@house.ks.gov 785-296-7105
Amanda Grosserode amanda.grosserode@house.ks.gov 785-296-7659
Charles Macheers charles.macheers@house.ks.gov 785-296-7675
Marc Rhoades marc.rhoades@house.ks.gov 785-296-7671
Charles Smith chuck.smith@house.ks.gov 785-296-7522
Dennis Hedke dennis.hedke@house.ks.gov 785-296-7699
Ed Trimmer ed.trimmer@house.ks.gov 785-296-7122
Valdenia Winn valdenia..winn@house.ks.gov 785-296-7657
Carolyn Bridges carolyn.bridges@house.ks.gov 785-296-7649
Nancy Lusk nancy.lusk@house.ks.gov 785-296-7651

Tomorrow: KS State BOE September Meeting

TOMORROW!
Tuesday, September 17 at 10am – KS State BOE Meeting

Please join us in Topeka for the KS State BOE meeting! View the September agenda.

If you would like speak in the open forum at 10:30am, please arrive before 10am to sign-up for 3 minutes. If you can’t make it in person, email your statement to kristin(at)kansansagainstcommoncore(dot)com by 5pm TODAY and it will be printed and presented at the meeting. You can also email your statement directly to the Kansas State BOE members.

Here is a great example of questions for the State BOE members:
New Hampshire State Rep Interrogates NH State School Board with These Questions

Over the last several months, citizens have addressed concerns about data collection, student privacy, and student/teacher evaluations related to the SBAC Assessments .  We plan to continue voicing these concerns, and request that Kansas pull out of SBAC and Common Core.    See you tomorrow!

120 SE 10th Ave., Topeka, KS
event details on facebook

This Week in Kansas – Dr. Chappell talks CC, data collection and opting out of testing

Dr. Walt Chappell was recently on This Week in Kansas.

Watch the video by visiting the site below and clicking on the August 25th show on the upper right side. Start watching at 46:00 and hear Dr. Chappell discuss student data, data mining and privacy issues related to Common Core and SBAC. He also talks about the Common Core & Year End Standardized Testing Opt Out Form.

OPT OUT FORM