SBAC Common Core Testing Not Right for Wyoming: Letter to Select Commitee

Here is an exceptional letter written by Dan Brophy of Jackson Hole.  I have received permission to post it here for you to read.

Mr. Brophy addresses many concerns that surround the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Common Core Testing.  This test is being strongly considered for adoption and replacement of the PAWS test in our state.  I hope that many people read this letter and also contact  those on the Select Committee on Education and Accountability.   This committee will be making a decision on SBAC during the upcoming session beginning January 13th of 2015.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Select Committee:

I write to urge you to abandon consideration of adopting SBAC assessments in Wyoming schools.

This Select Committee, the Governor and the Legislature cannot truthfully state that local control is maintained when Wyoming signs onto the SBAC consortium. Wyoming may be a member of the Executive Committee, but membership conveys no rights for our state to act on its own if it disagrees with test content or methodology, or finds any other problems with the SBAC test. Once you have committed Wyoming to the SBAC path, each of you individually and all of you collectively, as the government of this state, will be as helpless as parents to change anything without the permission of outside entities whose interests do not coincide with Wyoming interests. Not one of you can refute this fact.

Wyoming spends nearly $500 million/year on state community colleges and the University of Wyoming. Surely, within this vast fountain of spending, our state could find the academic expertise and persons to design its own, flexible but superior standards in order to improve, modify or replace PAWS. And why not invite parents into the process – who have basically been ignored?

Common Core is just that: common. By design, every student learns the same things at the same time, which means early-bloomers will end up frustrated and late-bloomers will end up characterized as academically deficient. Learning pace differs by individual, and always will. Applying a rigid standard, including SBAC tests, takes away the flexibility of individual teachers to tailor their learning plans to the pace, talent and interest of each student. The rigidity of Common Core will  unfairly systematize pre-judging of students who have different talents and learn at different paces. Common Core sets up standardized testing as the measure of success, but a student’s education is a much broader effort and accomplishment than test scores.

Do not adopt SBAC – this is not right for our students or their parents. Go back to work and find a Wyoming-designed, Wyoming-controlled testing regime that we can adapt and improve on our own.

Don’t forget this committee will be making a decision on SBAC during the upcoming session beginning January 13th of 2015.  Members on this committee can be found HERE.  PLEASE email them TODAY!   

Thank you!

~Christy

 

Letter to School Board Members on Data and Privacy

Below is the letter that I read to the Board of Trustees for Sweetwater County School District Number One. This is something that ALL parents and community members should be aware of and concerned about. Our local school boards will be entering into an agreement (MOU) that they have not officially agreed too. In doing so, they are giving away their power to represnt YOU as parents and community members, especially when it comes to your children’s data. We aren’t talking about the data they have always taken on our children.  This is a statewide inter-operable (shares with other agencies) system that will share ALL information that could include a health record or disciplinary record from P20 (preschool through college and the workforce) system.

You may read the letter below or listen to me present to the board in the video recording my husband took (forgive the amateur video – but the sound system is great!)

Board Members,

My name is Christy Hooley and I am a teacher from Sweetwater County School District #2.  I taught both 5th and 6th grade at Monroe Intermediate School.   I recently resigned my position to focus on an issue that is dear to my heart, the Common Core State Standards and the various issues it brings to teachers and students across our state and nation.  In doing so I have found others that have the same concerns, and I stand here representing the group, Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core.

One of these key issues that comes along with the CCSS is the creation of the State Longitudinal Database that will be inter-operable with other agencies.   Due to some questions arising from this concern the Wyoming Department of Education released a document entitled “Data Governance” for districts to distribute to parents concerned about data. The document covers four “Commonly Asked Questions about Student Data”.  While I appreciate the effort of the WDE to be both transparent and informative, the document does not cover many key issues, nor does it provide any links or references as to fact check sources.

These issues should be addressed and communicated to parents in our community as well as around the state. The creation of the State Longitudinal Data System is a key issue in education reform, and parents have many questions surrounding its creation and use.  Please look over the MOU (memorandum of understanding), which is an agreement between 20+ state agencies to begin sharing student data via the State Longitudinal Data System.  You will find that it states, The creation of the P20 SLDS is called for in the 2012 Legislative Session Enrolled Act 29 Section 326. The creation of P20 SLDS and data sharing shall fulfill the requirements established by the Wyoming Accountability in Education Act”

 Basically, what you have in front of you, to the best mine and our group’s knowledge is… that all of the data that is collected by the local school districts, which you represent, will go into this system.  The Department of Ed is going to sign for you…in doing so you stating that all  agencies listed can receive information.  This is a serious local control issue, this document says districts are required to collect this information, but you are not required to sign this agreement.   This is the information on our kids and families, and it is not just being distributed to every educational entity in the state of Wyoming, but to Department of Workforce Services, Department of Family Services, Department of Health, and any other agency they deem.  This is something that should be brought to the public’s attention as well as our representatives.  I implore that you make this a priority quickly!

As you may be aware I have been giving presentations in our community and around our state concerning education reform and its most recent reform with the Common Core State Standards.  I am often asked questions that I cannot answer by concerned parents.  You are elected to represent our community, and should know the concerns that I’m often approached with.  I would like to give you an opportunity to address these concerns.

 These are questions that I would pose as “Commonly Asked” by parents in our district and across our state:

1) What is the purpose of the State Longitudinal Data System?

2) The recent changes to FERPA by the US Department of Education has allowed for sharing of student data in the SLDS. What state agencies will now be sharing student data?

3) What data dictionary will be used to collect student data from the districts to the WDE for the SLDS?

4) How are parents notified of what data will be collected from their student at the district level and sent to the state?

5) How does WDE notify parents if a data breach occurs?

6) What legal recourse/penalties does an agency face in the event of a data breach on a child’s educational record?

7) How long is student data stored, and how is it destroyed once it is no longer needed?

8) What third party entities have access to student data via the SLDS?

This is the heart of the concerns that parents have about data being collected on their children. The recent changes to FERPA undermine parental consent provisions. It is my understanding that there is not currently Wyoming law that outlines data breach reporting requirements or penalties in the event that a breach occurs. I would ask you as a board to seek answers to these questions from the WDE Data Governance Contacts.

Furthermore, I would ask that you familiarize yourself with the Privacy Bill known as Senate File 36 that was discussed by the Committee on Statewide Education Accountability on Dec. 10th.  It does not include the SLDS, and therefore does not do enough to protect our children’s data. If a health record becomes part of a student’s educational file, it is no longer protected. I would recommend that all student disciplinary and health records be exempt from educational records and remain confidential under all circumstances.

I am not suggesting that Wyoming is sharing this data currently, however there is nothing strong preventing them from doing so, plus school systems are moving more and more to commonality and disaggregating (personally identifiable) student data.  This can be seen by all those partnered with the Data Quality Campaign and policies held by the Council of Chief State School Officers. 

I invite each one of you to attend my next presentation, so you may also become informed on both sides of the education reform issues and better understand the questions and concerns parents may come to you with.  I will be presenting next on January 24th at 7PM at the Green River Library and again at the White Mountain Library in Rock Springs on January 30th, at 7PM.

I hope to hear back from you concerning this extremely important issue.

Thank you,

Christy Hooley

www.wyomingagainstcommoncore.wordpress.com

www.wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com

*Updated* Take Action – Jan. 8th

bigstock_Chalkboard_Series_-_Take_Actio_4397695

Happy New Year! We have taken a rest to enjoy the Christmas season but are ready again to advocate for the education of Wyoming’s children as we head into 2014.

We want to thank you for signing the letter to Governor Mead that was delivered in December. There were 1165 signatures on the letter and 160 more have been added since then. We are still collecting signatures at http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/letter-governor/

It would be unfortunate for our letter to be overlooked as the Governor-appointed State Board of Education meets this month. The Governor letter stated “We implore you to advise the appointed State Board of Education not to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards at their January meeting.” The Next Generation Science Standards are on the agenda to be discussed and possibly voted into the next phase of the adoption process at the State Board meeting on January 23rd/24th.

TAKE ACTION BY MONDAY: Write the Governor and let him know that you are interested to know of his official response to the letter presented to him on Dec. 9th and the requests outlined therein. If you signed the petition you may want to say something to the effect of, “I was one of the over 1100 concerned parents/constituents who signed the letter delivered to you on Dec 9th. I would like to know of your official response to the letter and the requests made therein.” The original letter can be viewed here for your convenience: http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/letter-governor/

It is important for the Legislature and the State Board of Education to be aware of our requests as well, so please “cc” their emails into your message. The emails are below.

We will be sending out “Take Action” items weekly since the State Board is meeting in a few weeks and then the Legislative budget session begins in early February.

Also, we would like your permission to add your email to our subscriber list. If you haven’t done so already please consider giving us your permission to do so by clicking on the “subscribe” button on the following link: http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/call-action-weekly-item/

Thank you again for participating in the effort to keep local, quality education in Wyoming schools.

Sincerely,

Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core
“To”(Governor’s email): governor@wyo.gov

“CC” (Legislature & SBE Emails):

Jim.Anderson.SD02@wyoleg.gov, Hank.Coe@wyoleg.gov, Bill.Landen@wyoleg.gov,
Phil.Nicholas@wyoleg.gov, Chris.Rothfuss@wyoleg.gov, steve.harshman@wyoleg.gov,
Mike.Madden@wyoleg.gov, Tim.Stubson@wyoleg.gov, Matt.Teeters@wyoleg.gov,
Mary.Throne@wyoleg.gov, Mark.Baker@wyoleg.gov, Eric.Barlow@wyoleg.gov,
Rosie.Berger@wyoleg.gov, Stan.Blake@wyoleg.gov, Dave.Blevins@wyoleg.gov,
Gregg.Blikre@wyoleg.gov, Kermit.Brown@wyoleg.gov, Donald.Burkhart@wyoleg.gov,
James.Byrd@wyoleg.gov, Rita.Campbell@wyoleg.gov, Richard.Cannady@wyoleg.gov,
Kathy.Coleman@wyoleg.gov, Cathy.Connolly@wyoleg.gov, Kathy.Davison@wyoleg.gov,
John.Eklund@wyoleg.gov, Ken.Esquibel@wyoleg.gov, Lee.Filer@wyoleg.gov,
John.Freeman@wyoleg.gov, Gerald.Gay@wyoleg.gov, Keith.Gingery@wyoleg.gov,
Patrick.Goggles@wyoleg.gov, Mike.Greear@wyoleg.gov, Matt.Greene@wyoleg.gov,
Marti.Halverson@wyoleg.gov, Elaine.Harvey@wyoleg.gov, Hans.Hunt@wyoleg.gov,
Lynn.Hutchings@wyoleg.gov, Allen.Jaggi@wyoleg.gov, Norine.Kasperik@wyoleg.gov,
Dan.Kirkbride@wyoleg.gov, Kendell.Kroeker@wyoleg.gov, Samuel.Krone@wyoleg.gov,
Lloyd.Larsen@wyoleg.gov, Tom.Lockhart@wyoleg.gov, Bunky.Loucks@wyoleg.gov,
Tom.Lubnau@wyoleg.gov, Robert.McKim@wyoleg.gov, David.Miller@wyoleg.gov,
Glenn.Moniz@wyoleg.gov, Bob.Nicholas@wyoleg.gov, David.Northrup@wyoleg.gov,
John.Patton@wyoleg.gov, Jerry.Paxton@wyoleg.gov, Ruth.Petroff@wyoleg.gov,
Garry.Piiparinen@wyoleg.gov, Tom.Reeder@wyoleg.gov, Mark.Semlek@wyoleg.gov,
Albert.Sommers@wyoleg.gov, Sue.Wallis@wyoleg.gov, Tom.Walters@wyoleg.gov,
Stephen.Watt@wyoleg.gov, Sue.Wilson@wyoleg.gov, Nathan.Winters@wyoleg.gov,
David.Zwonitzer@wyoleg.gov, Dan.Zwonitzer@wyoleg.gov, Jim.Anderson.SD28@wyoleg.gov,
Paul.Barnard@wyoleg.gov, Eli.Bebout@wyoleg.gov, Bruce.Burns@wyoleg.gov,
Cale.Case@wyoleg.gov, Leland.Christensen@wyoleg.gov, Stan.Cooper@wyoleg.gov,
Bernadine.Craft@wyoleg.gov, Dan.Dockstader@wyoleg.gov, Ogden.Driskill@wyoleg.gov,
Fred.Emerich@wyoleg.gov, Floyd.Esquibel@wyoleg.gov, Gerald.Geis@wyoleg.gov,
John.Hastert@wyoleg.gov, Larry.Hicks@wyoleg.gov, John.Hines@wyoleg.gov,
Wayne.Johnson@wyoleg.gov, Curt.Meier@wyoleg.gov, Leslie.Nutting@wyoleg.gov,
Drew.Perkins@wyoleg.gov, Ray.Peterson@wyoleg.gov, Tony.Ross@wyoleg.gov,
John.Schiffer@wyoleg.gov, Charles.Scott@wyoleg.gov, Michael.VonFlatern@wyoleg.gov,
joe.reichardt@wyoboards.gov, sue.belish@wyoboards.gov, kathy.coon@wyoboards.gov,
pete.gosar@wyo.gov, hugh.hageman@wyoboards.gov, scotty.ratliff@wyoboards.gov,
walt.wilcox@wyoboards.gov, kathryn.sessions@wyoboards.gov, belenda.willson@wyoboards.gov,
ken.rathbun@wyoboards.gov, ron.micheli@wyoboards.gov, marykay.hill@wyo.gov

Next Generation Science Standards Concerns

NGSS_LOGO

Below is an excellent breakdown of the problems with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) created by members of  WyomingCitizensOpposingCommonCore.com.  They have also created a brochure to print and hand out with similar information ==>HERE.

I am posting this information to give  parents  talking points for their local school boards about their concerns.  Please consider passing this information on to your local Conservation District chapters and any other organizations you think may be willing to get involved.
The State Board of Education is supposed to vote on the NGSS at their upcoming board meeting in Cheyenne on January 23, 24- so time is of the essence. 

Concerns with the Next Generation Science Standards

Lack of Quality

  • there is so little advanced content that it would be impossible to derive a high school physics or chemistry course
  • misses several opportunities to build important links between grade- appropriate math and required science content

Opposes Some Wyoming Values

  •  Wyoming’s economy revolves around mining and agriculture, the NGSS have a heavy negative slant at the use of such resources
  • Are regulations, international treaties and alternative energy sources Wyoming’s ideal for solutions to the “negative impacts of human activity?”
  • Does Wyoming value one-sided, unsupported viewpoints as fact?

Non-Objective

  • Religiously non-neutral which would lead to indoctrination, not education
  • Fail to distinguish for students the various definitions of evolution, leading them to assume that the word always denotes the same thing
  • Unconstitutional according to the Wyoming Constitution

Pending Court Case

  • A non-profit in Kansas has filed a complaint against the Kansas Department of Education regarding the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Kansas and Wyoming are both under the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Therefore, if a ruling is made at that level, it will apply to Wyoming as well
  • Wyoming should delay the consideration of the NGSS until this case is resolved

 

Lack of Quality

Nine scientists and mathematicians reviewed NGSS for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Fordham gave the standards an overall grade of “C,” (the NAEP and TIMSS standards received the grade of A- from the Fordham Institute).

Overview:  “The NGSS fall short of excellence in several ways, including:

  • overemphasis on practices over essential context
  • omission of much essential content
  • failure to integrate mathematics content that is essential to science learning
  • use of assessment boundaries that put arbitrary ceilings on the content that will be assessed and therefore taught at each grade”

Clarity and Specificity: The presentation of the NGSS is cumbersome and difficult to navigate.  In addition, too many individual performance expectations are vague and poorly worded, with broad references to concepts that lack specific guidance about what, precisely, students should know and be able to do.”

http://www.edexcellencemedia.net/publications/2013/20130820-NGSS-Appendix-Review-and-State-Comparisons/NGSS-comparison-table-wyoming.pdf

Another problem Fordham reviewers found is NGSS focuses on students “performing” at the expense of “memorizing.”   They indicate that in this case “content takes a backseat to practices.” The Fordham report suggests that science education should “build knowledge first so that students will have the storehouse of information and understanding that they need to engage in scientific reasoning and higher level thinking.”

http://www.eagleforum.org/publications/educate/july13/next-generation-science-standards-common-core-incognito.html

 In regards to Physical Science Fordham states:

“NGSS physical science coverage is mediocre throughout grades K–5 and declines rapidly in middle school, and still further at the high school level. Overall, the physical science standards fail to lay the foundation for advanced study in high school and beyond, and there is so little advanced content that it would be impossible to derive a high school physics or chemistry course from the content included in the NGSS.”

“Much of the NGSS document was not written with mathematics in mind.”

“(NGSS) misses several opportunities to build important links between grade- appropriate math and required science content.”

“Given the critical overlap between science and math, as well as the NGSS authors’ intention to align their science expectations with the Common Core math standards, these shortcomings signal a need for caution on the part of states that are serious about implementing the CCSS but that are also considering adopting the NGSS.”

http://www.edexcellence.net/sites/default/files/publication/pdfs/20130612-NGSS-Final-Review_7.pdf

Wyoming Values

 Does Wyoming believe that all/most human actions lead to negative consequences for the earth?

Agriculture and mining are essential to Wyoming.  There are responsible Wyomingites out there who are involved with agriculture and/or mining that make a living responsibly, efficiently and without destroying the earth.  This perspective is not mentioned in the NGSS.  On the contrary, the unproven negative effects of such practices are taught.  The following example is taken from the NGSS:

Disciplinary Core Idea: ESS3.C: HUMAN IMPACTS ON EARTH SYSTEMS

“How do humans change the planet? Recorded history. . . indicates that human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have had major impacts on the land, rivers, ocean, and air. Humans affect the quality, availability, and distribution of Earth’s water through the modification of streams, lakes, and groundwater. Large areas of land, including such delicate ecosystems as wetlands, forests, and grasslands, are being transformed by human agriculture, mining, and the expansion of settlements and roads. Human activities now cause land erosion and soil movement annually that exceed all natural processes. Air and water pollution caused by human activities affect the condition of the atmosphere and of rivers and lakes, with damaging effects on other species and on human health. The activities of humans have significantly altered the biosphere, changing or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of many living species. These changes also affect the viability of agriculture or fisheries to support human populations.

The activities and advanced technologies that have built and maintained human civilizations clearly have large consequences for the sustainability of these civilizations and the ecosystems with which they interact.”

Performance Expectation: HS – Human Sustainability (Grade 9-12)

HS-ESS3-4.
Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.

HS-ESS3-3.
Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.

HS-ESS3-6.
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.

 

  • Does Wyoming value freedom and enterprise, or federal/international regulation?

The following is taken from the Framework behind the NGSS: “Some negative effects of human activities are reversible…Regulations regarding water and air pollution have greatly reduced acid rain and stream pollution, and international treaties on the use of certain refrigerant gases have halted the growth of the annual ozone hole…”

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13165&page=195

  • Does Wyoming value objective or unsupportive, non-objective education?

Non-Objective

  • The standards fail to present controversial issues objectively (such as climate change, renewable energy and sustainability.)
  • The standards are one-sided in that they disproportionately focus on negative effects of human interaction with the environment

Example:  ESS3.D: Global Climate Change

Performance Expectation: MS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity (Grades 6-8) MS-ESS3-5.

Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century. [Clarification Statement: Examples of factors include human activities (such as fossil fuel combustion . . . and agricultural activity) . . . Emphasis is on the major role that human activities play in causing the rise in global temperatures.]

Disciplinary Core Idea: ESS3.D: Global Climate Change

Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming).

  • Teaches evolution as a fact, starting in elementary grades (current WY standards teach evolution as a theory, and not until 8th grade)

Example:  “By the end of grade 2. Some kinds of plants and animals that once lived on Earth (e.g., dinosaurs) are no
longer found anywhere, although others now living (e.g., lizards) resemble them in some ways.”
(Grade Band Endpoints for LS4.A)

  • The standards address ultimate  religious questions and then use a doctrine or “Rule” that permits only   materialistic or functionally atheistic answers
  • The standards require a materialistic explanation for any phenomenon addressed by science
  • The standards are neither educationally objective nor religiously neutral, because an atheistic or materialistic worldview is consistently affirmed throughout.
  • The Standards fail to present legitimate scientific critiques of materialistic theories regarding the origins of the universe, of life and its diversity

Examples:  Core Idea LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
LS4.B: Natural Selection
LS4.C: Adaptation
LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans

Descriptions of these Core Ideas to follow:

The Framework for the NGSS describes the reasoning behind the Core Ideas:

  • There is diversity within species as well as between species. Yet what is learned about the function of a gene or a cell or a process in one organism is relevant to other organisms because of their ecological interactions and evolutionary relatedness. (Framework, page 139, emphasis added)
  • “Finally, the core ideas in the life sciences culminate with the principle that evolution can explain how the diversity that is observed within species has led to the diversity of life across species through a process of descent with adaptive modification. Evolution also accounts for the remarkable similarity of the fundamental characteristics of all species. (Framework, page 140, emphasis added)
  • Evolution and its underlying genetic mechanisms of inheritance and variability are key to understanding both the unity and the diversity of life on Earth. (Framework, page 141)
  • Evolution thus explains both the similarities of genetic material across all species and the multitude of species existing in diverse conditions on Earth—its biodiversity—which humans depend on for natural resources and other benefits to sustain themselves. (Framework, page 161)
  • Biological evolution, the process by which all living things have evolved over many generations from shared ancestors, explains both the unity and the diversity of species.(Framework, page 162,emphasis added)

Bullets source: http://www.copeinc.org/docs/NGSS_PressRelease_final.pdf

Standards  source: http://edu.wyoming.gov/sf-docs/default-document-library/science_standards_draft_09-20-13_sbe_10-7-13.pdf2

Framework Source: http://www.nextgenscience.org/framework-k%E2%80%9312-science-education

The NGSS Are Unconstitutional In Wyoming

The Wyoming Constitution states in Article 7, Section 12 titled “Sectarianism prohibited.”

“No sectarian instruction, qualifications or tests shall be imparted, exacted, applied or in any manner tolerated in the schools of any grade or character controlled by the state, nor shall attendance be required at any religious service therein, nor shall any sectarian tenets or doctrines be taught or favored in any public school or institution that may be established under this constitution.”

The word “sect” is defined as “a group adhering to a distinctive doctrine.”  And doctrine is defined as “a set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true.”

The adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards would seem to be a violation of the state constitution.

Pending Court Case

  • The Framework for K-12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards is the subject of a lawsuit filed in a Federal District Court in Kansas in September.
  • Kansas case is relevant to Wyoming because any appeal that goes to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals establishes the federal law, which will be applicable to Wyoming as well.
  • The lawsuit claims that the program seeks to establish an atheistic worldview in our children. Let me read you the first paragraph of the complaint:

“The Plaintiffs, consisting of students, parents and Kansas resident taxpayers, and a representative organization, complain that the adoption by the Defendant State Board of Education on June 11, 2013 of Next Generation Science Standards will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview (the “Worldview”) in violation of the Establishment, Free Exercise, and Speech Clauses of the First Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment.”

Created by WyomingCitizensOpposingCommonCore.com  Please visit their site for more information regarding Common Core!

Update on Action Items and Events!

Dear Citizen,

This week the Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core group traveled to Cheyenne to attend
a meeting with the Governor and also the Select Committee on Statewide Education Accountability.
Below is a press release regarding the events including the number of signatures turned into the
Governor. Thank you for your efforts to make this happen!

For more detailed information regarding the Select Committee meeting please visit this link:
http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SelectCommSummaryDec.pdf
We will soon begin more Call To Action items as we approach the State Board of Education meeting in
January, as they may vote the Next Generation Science Standards into the review process.

Sincerely,
Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core

Governor Mead Carves Out Meeting Time for Citizens Concerned Over State Education Reform

Parents concerned over education reform descended on Cheyenne for a two-day blitz to express their views
to policymakers, meeting Monday with the Governor and testifying at the legislative Education Committee
Tuesday.

The grassroots group Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core met with Governor Mead on
Monday, December 9th at the capitol. The group presented him with a letter signed in just three weeks
by 1,165 citizens in strong opposition to Wyoming’s involvement in Common Core, Smarter Balanced
Assessment Consortium’s standardized testing, and the planned widespread sharing of student data.

One concerned mom said, “I wanted to ask the Governor to reconsider his stance on education reform
in Wyoming. This matter is so serious that as a parent I am considering my options for the education
of my child.”

A father and U.S. Constitution teacher in Wyoming said, “I am concerned about the Next Generation
Science Standards because they advocate anti-Wyoming ideas such as man-made global warming
through fossil fuel burning so I asked the Governor – how do the Next Generation Science
Standards align with Wyoming values?”

Another mom wanted to know in regards to the building of the State Longitudinal Data System,
“Why is it necessary to collect this much data in order to provide Wyoming children with a solid
education?”

Ultimately, the group asked the Governor, among other things, to advise the
appointed State Board of Education not to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards.
Governor Mead was also asked to remove Wyoming from the Smarter Balanced
Consortium as a governing state. The group attended the Select Committee on Statewide Education
Accountability meeting on Tuesday. The Committee voted unanimously on a bill for data privacy.

During public comment a parent encouraged the Committee to create a stringent state privacy plan.
“FERPA was amended by the United States Department of Education in 2012, undermining parental
consent provisions and permitting the sharing of student data across state agencies.” She referenced
Oklahoma House Bill 1989 as a potential model,  which prevents health and discipline records from
becoming part of a student’s education records.

Signatures are still being collected for the letter to the Governor at
http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/letter-governor/

Call to Action Week 4

Call to Action – Week 4
We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The Select Committee on Statewide Education
Accountability has only one more meeting (Dec 10th) before the budget session starts in
February.  This means we only have until December 9th to let them know that we do not support the Smarter Balanced Assessment and we would like them to keep it from being implemented in Wyoming.
One More Email Needs To Be Sent To The Committee
We encourage you to put “One More Concern with SBAC” in the subject line of your
email. (Consider other options like, “New Problem with SBAC”, or, “Another Concern
with SBAC” so recipients won’t think it is a form email.
– Copy and paste the committee emails into the “To” field (see emails below)
– Copy and paste the full legislature and governor into the “CC” field
– Pick from the list of Smarter Balanced Assessment concerns to include in your short
letter (we suggest picking one concern from the four options)
1) From the Memo of Understanding (MOU) between WY and SBAC: “[WY] agrees to . . .
identify and implement a plan to address barriers in State Law, statute, regulation or
policy to implementing the proposed assessment system and to addressing any such
barriers prior to full implementation of the summative assessment components of the
system”
Problem: In other words, if SBAC contradicts current state laws or practices, WY
agrees to eliminate such barriers so SBAC can be implemented. In Wyoming’s case,
four such changes would have to be made in order to adopt SBAC, thus substituting
Wyoming control with national control.
Source: http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SBAC-Governing-MOUWY-
July-20131.pdf (page 14) See W.S. 21-2-304(a)(v)(E), W.S. 21-2-304(a)(v)(B), W.S. 21-2-204 (c) (ii) (A) (III),
W.S. 21-2-204 (c) (iii)(iv)
2) From the cooperative agreement between the US Dept of Ed and SBAC: “[SBAC]
must provide timely and complete access to any and all data collected at the State
level to [the US Dept of Ed].”
Problem: If WY adopts SBAC, and SBAC is bound to share data with the US Dept of
Ed, WY would be binding themselves to the sharing of student data with the federal
government.
Source: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf
3) Wyoming does not have a representative on the Executive Committee of the
SBAC, which is charged with the task of oversight of the Smarter Balanced
Assessment System.
Problem: WY’s voice in SBAC is so small it will not make a difference, but we
would still be bound to follow SBAC’s decisions. We lose sovereignty over
education.
Source: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/about/executive-committee/
4) From the SBAC Governance Structure Document, to exit the SBAC, Wyoming
would need federal approval: “Step 5. Upon approval of the request, the Project
Management Partner will then submit a change of membership to the USED for
approval”
Problem: If WY wanted out of SBAC we would have to get approval from the US
Dept of Ed. If the federal government doesn’t want us to leave SBAC, we can’t. Not
only does WY lose control in SBAC but we can’t remedy the situation by leaving
SBAC.
Source: http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SBACGoverning-
MOU-WY-July-20131.pdf (page 12)
If you haven’t yet signed the Letter To The Governor:
If you haven’t already signed the letter to Governor Mead, please do so now and ask your spouse
and friends to sign it, too. The deadline is December 8th.
http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/letter-governor/
 
Thank you for taking the time to write! Feel free to pass this email on to other concerned
Wyoming citizens and encourage them to write in.
Sincerely,
Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core
www.wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com
 
Governor Mead: governor@wyo.gov
Wyoming Legislature:
Mark.Baker@wyoleg.govEric.Barlow@wyoleg.govRosie.Berger@wyoleg.gov,
Stan.Blake@wyoleg.govDave.Blevins@wyoleg.govGregg.Blikre@wyoleg.gov,
Kermit.Brown@wyoleg.govDonald.Burkhart@wyoleg.govJames.Byrd@wyoleg.gov,
Rita.Campbell@wyoleg.govRichard.Cannady@wyoleg.gov,
Kathy.Coleman@wyoleg.govCathy.Connolly@wyoleg.gov,
Kathy.Davison@wyoleg.govJohn.Eklund@wyoleg.govKen.Esquibel@wyoleg.gov,
Lee.Filer@wyoleg.govJohn.Freeman@wyoleg.govGerald.Gay@wyoleg.gov,
Keith.Gingery@wyoleg.govPatrick.Goggles@wyoleg.govMike.Greear@wyoleg.gov,
Matt.Greene@wyoleg.govMarti.Halverson@wyoleg.govElaine.Harvey@wyoleg.gov,
Hans.Hunt@wyoleg.govLynn.Hutchings@wyoleg.govAllen.Jaggi@wyoleg.gov,
Norine.Kasperik@wyoleg.govDan.Kirkbride@wyoleg.gov,
Kendell.Kroeker@wyoleg.govSamuel.Krone@wyoleg.govLloyd.Larsen@wyoleg.gov,
Tom.Lockhart@wyoleg.govBunky.Loucks@wyoleg.govTom.Lubnau@wyoleg.gov,
Robert.McKim@wyoleg.govDavid.Miller@wyoleg.govGlenn.Moniz@wyoleg.gov,
Bob.Nicholas@wyoleg.govDavid.Northrup@wyoleg.govJohn.Patton@wyoleg.gov,
Jerry.Paxton@wyoleg.govRuth.Petroff@wyoleg.govGarry.Piiparinen@wyoleg.gov,
Tom.Reeder@wyoleg.govMark.Semlek@wyoleg.govAlbert.Sommers@wyoleg.gov,
Sue.Wallis@wyoleg.govTom.Walters@wyoleg.govStephen.Watt@wyoleg.gov,
Sue.Wilson@wyoleg.govNathan.Winters@wyoleg.govDavid.Zwonitzer@wyoleg.gov,
Dan.Zwonitzer@wyoleg.govJim.Anderson.SD28@wyoleg.gov,
Paul.Barnard@wyoleg.govEli.Bebout@wyoleg.govBruce.Burns@wyoleg.gov,
Cale.Case@wyoleg.govLeland.Christensen@wyoleg.govStan.Cooper@wyoleg.gov,
Bernadine.Craft@wyoleg.govDan.Dockstader@wyoleg.gov,
Ogden.Driskill@wyoleg.govFred.Emerich@wyoleg.govFloyd.Esquibel@wyoleg.gov,
Gerald.Geis@wyoleg.govJohn.Hastert@wyoleg.govLarry.Hicks@wyoleg.gov,
John.Hines@wyoleg.govWayne.Johnson@wyoleg.govCurt.Meier@wyoleg.gov,
Leslie.Nutting@wyoleg.govDrew.Perkins@wyoleg.govRay.Peterson@wyoleg.gov,
Tony.Ross@wyoleg.govJohn.Schiffer@wyoleg.govCharles.Scott@wyoleg.gov,
Michael.VonFlatern@wyoleg.gov