Yet Another TEST for your child: SBAC Field Testing Piloted in Wyoming

WACCGuinea

Children across our state will soon be taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Field Test!  This is a “test of the test” and in addition to PAWS and other tests that take time away from academics.   It puts this valuable learning time toward a for-profit company on a test that we may never see again.  Although Common Core has been adopted by the State, SBAC has not.  The legislature refused to approve funds for SBAC in their interim committee meetings this fall due to tremendous grassroots opposition.

(See list below if your child’s school is participating)

Schools may administer the Field Test over multiple days. Because the Field Test is a “test of the test” that will result in some questions being revised or dropped, students will not receive scores.

STUDENTS WILL NOT RECEIVE SCORES

The SBAC field test will require approximately ten 45-minute testing sessions, approximately 8 hours,  which translates into multiple days of teachers administering unapproved experimental field tests to our children instead of teaching subject matter to them.  Teachers want, need, and deserve time to do their jobs well, not just administer tests – especially experimental ones. 

Opting out is legal in Wyoming

Parents have a right to Opt-Out of this test as well as the other nationally funded test given across our country by both SBAC and PARCC.  Parents across our country are choosing to exercise their parental rights and opt their children out.  Ed Moynihanarent, a parent in Worcester, Massachusetts said, “I didn’t sign her up to be a lab rat. I’m sending her to be the public schools to be taught, and testing is not teaching.”

Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core have provided this form to use when opting out of this and any other state mandated standardized test.

There are several reasons to assert your rights and Opt-Out.

1) Protect student data that will eventually be put into a national database (SLDS).  This is NOT the same information that has always been gathered on our children.

2) Protect kids from undue stress.

3) Allow the students to do additional learning and something educational rather than spending HOURS testing.

4) Send a message that parents have the control and know what’s best for their child.

5) Allow teachers to use their professional judgement in where that student is academically and not rely on or pigeon-hole a child with a number.

Here are the districts, schools, and grades listed to participate this spring:

Albany County School District   #1 Laramie Junior High School 6
Albany County School District   #1 Laramie Junior High School 7
Albany County School District   #1 Laramie Junior High School 9
Albany County School District   #1 Spring Creek Elementary 5
Albany County School District   #1 Centennial Elementary 5
Albany County School District   #1 Centennial Elementary 6
Albany County School District   #1 Harmony Elementary 5
Albany County School District   #1 Harmony Elementary 6
Albany County School District   #1 Velma Linford Elementary 5
Albany County School District   #1 Velma Linford Elementary 6
Albany County School District   #1 Rock River Junior High School 7
Albany County School District   #1 Rock River Junior High School 9
Albany County School District   #1 Rock River Elementary 6
Albany County School District   #1 UW Laboratory School 5
Albany County School District   #1 UW Laboratory School 7
Big Horn County School   District #1 Rocky Mountain High School 9
Big Horn County School   District #1 Burlington Elementary 5
Big Horn County School   District #1 Rocky Mountain Elementary 5
Big Horn County School   District #1 Rocky Mountain Middle School 7
Big Horn County School   District #1 Burlington Middle School 7
Big Horn County School   District #1 Burlington High School 9
Big Horn County School   District #3 Greybull High School 9
Big Horn County School   District #3 Greybull High School 10
Big Horn County School   District #3 Greybull Elementary 3
Big Horn County School   District #3 Greybull Elementary 4
Big Horn County School   District #3 Greybull Elementary 5
Big Horn County School   District #3 Greybull Middle School 6
Big Horn County School   District #3 Greybull Middle School 7
Big Horn County School   District #3 Greybull Middle School 8
Campbell County School   District #1 Pronghorn Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Pronghorn Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Pronghorn Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Pronghorn Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Campbell County High School 10
Campbell County School   District #1 Campbell County High School 11
Campbell County School   District #1 Twin Spruce Junior High School 7
Campbell County School   District #1 Twin Spruce Junior High   School 8
Campbell County School   District #1 Twin Spruce Junior High   School 9
Campbell County School   District #1 Cottonwood Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Cottonwood Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Cottonwood Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Cottonwood Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Hillcrest Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Hillcrest Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Hillcrest Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Hillcrest Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Little Powder Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Little Powder Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Little Powder Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Little Powder Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Meadowlark Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Meadowlark Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Meadowlark Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Meadowlark Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Lakeview Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Lakeview Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Lakeview Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Lakeview Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Rawhide Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Rawhide Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Rawhide Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Rawhide Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Recluse School 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Recluse School 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Recluse School 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Recluse School 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Rozet Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Rozet Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Rozet Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Rozet Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Wagonwheel Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Wagonwheel Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Wagonwheel Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Wagonwheel Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Prairie Wind Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Prairie Wind Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Prairie Wind Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Prairie Wind Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Conestoga Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Conestoga Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Conestoga Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Conestoga Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Sage Valley Junior High   School 7
Campbell County School   District #1 Sage Valley Junior High   School 8
Campbell County School   District #1 Sage Valley Junior High School 9
Campbell County School   District #1 Wright Jr. & Sr. High   School 7
Campbell County School   District #1 Wright Jr. & Sr. High   School 8
Campbell County School   District #1 Wright Jr. & Sr. High   School 9
Campbell County School   District #1 Wright Jr. & Sr. High   School 10
Campbell County School   District #1 Wright Jr. & Sr. High   School 11
Campbell County School   District #1 Paintbrush Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Paintbrush Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Paintbrush Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Paintbrush Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Sunflower Elementary 3
Campbell County School   District #1 Sunflower Elementary 4
Campbell County School   District #1 Sunflower Elementary 5
Campbell County School   District #1 Sunflower Elementary 6
Campbell County School   District #1 4-J Elementary School 3
Campbell County School   District #1 4-J Elementary School 4
Campbell County School   District #1 4-J Elementary School 5
Campbell County School   District #1 4-J Elementary School 6
Campbell County School   District #1 Westwood High School 10
Campbell County School   District #1 Westwood High School 11
Carbon County School District   #1 Rawlins Middle School 6
Carbon County School District   #2 Elk Mountain Elementary 5
Carbon County School District   #2 Hanna Elementary 3
Carbon County School District   #2 Medicine Bow Elementary 4
Carbon County School District   #2 Medicine Bow Elementary 6
Carbon County School District   #2 Saratoga Elementary 3
Carbon County School District   #2 Saratoga Elementary 6
Converse County School   District #2 Glenrock Intermediate School 5
Converse County School   District #2 Glenrock Intermediate School 6
Converse County School   District #2 Glenrock Middle School 7
Converse County School   District #2 Glenrock Middle School 8
Converse County School   District #2 Grant Elementary School 3
Converse County School   District #2 Grant Elementary 4
Crook County School District   #1 Moorcroft Elementary 3
Crook County School District   #1 Sundance Elementary 3
Crook County School District   #1 Moorcroft Secondary School 8
Crook County School District   #1 Sundance Secondary School 8
Crook County School District   #1 Hulett School 3
Crook County School District   #1 Hulett School 8
Fremont County School   District # 6 Wind River Elementary 3
Fremont County School   District # 6 Wind River Elementary 4
Fremont County School   District # 6 Wind River Elementary 5
Fremont County School   District # 6 Wind River High School 9
Fremont County School   District # 6 Wind River High School 10
Fremont County School   District # 6 Wind River High School 11
Fremont County School   District #24 Shoshoni High School 9
Fremont County School   District #24 Shoshoni High School 10
Fremont County School   District #24 Shoshoni High School 11
Fremont County School   District #24 Shoshoni Elementary 3
Fremont County School   District #24 Shoshoni Elementary 4
Fremont County School   District #24 Shoshoni Elementary 5
Fremont County School   District #24 Shoshoni Elementary 6
Fremont County School   District #24 Shoshoni Junior High School 7
Fremont County School   District #24 Shoshoni Junior High School 8
Fremont County School   District #25 Rendezvous Elementary 4
Fremont County School   District #25 Rendezvous Elementary 5
Fremont County School   District #25 Riverton High School 11
Fremont County School   District #25 Riverton Middle School 6
Fremont County School   District #6 Wind River Middle School 6
Fremont County School   District #6 Wind River Middle School 7
Fremont County School   District #6 Wind River Middle School 8
Johnson County School   District #1 Cloud Peak Elementary 3
Johnson County School   District #1 Cloud Peak Elementary 4
Johnson County School   District #1 Cloud Peak Elementary 5
Johnson County School   District #1 Buffalo High School 9
Johnson County School   District #1 Buffalo High School 10
Johnson County School District   #1 Buffalo High School 11
Johnson County School   District #1 Clear Creek Middle School 6
Johnson County School   District #1 Clear Creek Middle School 7
Johnson County School   District #1 Clear Creek Middle School 8
Johnson County School   District #1 Kaycee School 3
Johnson County School   District #1 Kaycee School 4
Johnson County School   District #1 Kaycee School 5
Johnson County School   District #1 Kaycee School 6
Johnson County School   District #1 Kaycee School 7
Johnson County School   District #1 Kaycee School 8
Johnson County School   District #1 Kaycee School 9
Johnson County School   District #1 Kaycee School 10
Johnson County School   District #1 Kaycee School 11
Laramie County School   District #1 Buffalo Ridge Elementary 3
Laramie County School   District #1 Buffalo Ridge Elementary 4
Laramie County School   District #1 Buffalo Ridge Elementary 5
Laramie County School   District #1 Buffalo Ridge Elementary 6
Laramie County School   District #1 Baggs Elementary 6
Laramie County School   District #1 Buffalo Ridge Elementary 3
Laramie County School   District #1 Buffalo Ridge Elementary 5
Laramie County School   District #1 Davis Elementary 3
Laramie County School   District #1 Davis Elementary 4
Laramie County School   District #1 Davis Elementary 5
Laramie County School   District #1 Davis Elementary 6
Laramie County School   District #1 Dildine Elementary 4
Laramie County School   District #1 Hebard Elementary 4
Laramie County School   District #1 Hebard Elementary 6
Laramie County School   District #1 Miller Elementary 4
Laramie County School   District #1 Miller Elementary 5
Laramie County School   District #1 Miller Elementary 6
Laramie County School   District #1 Sunrise Elementary 3
Laramie County School   District #1 Sunrise Elementary 4
Laramie County School   District #1 Sunrise Elementary 5
Laramie County School   District #1 Sunrise Elementary 6
Laramie County School   District #1 Saddle Ridge Elementary 3
Laramie County School District   #1 Saddle Ridge Elementary 4
Laramie County School   District #1 Saddle Ridge Elementary 5
Laramie County School   District #1 Saddle Ridge Elementary 6
Laramie County School   District #1 South High School 11
Lincoln County School   District #2 Star Valley High School 9
Lincoln County School   District #2 Star Valley High School 10
Lincoln County School   District #2 Star Valley High School 11
Lincoln County School   District #2 Star Valley Middle School 7
Lincoln County School   District #2 Star Valley Middle School 8
Lincoln County School   District #2 Afton Elementary 3
Lincoln County School   District #2 Thayne Elementary 3
Lincoln County School   District #2 Etna Elementary 4
Lincoln County School   District #2 Etna Elementary 5
Lincoln County School   District #2 Etna Elementary 6
Lincoln County School   District #2 Osmond Elementary 4
Lincoln County School   District #2 Osmond Elementary 5
Lincoln County School   District #2 Osmond Elementary 6
Natrona County School   District #1 Casper Classical Academy 6
Natrona County School   District #1 Casper Classical Academy 8
Natrona County School   District #1 Kelly Walsh High School 11
Natrona County School   District #1 C Y Junior High School 6
Natrona County School   District #1 C Y Junior High School 7
Natrona County School   District #1 C Y Junior High School 8
Natrona County School   District #1 Dean Morgan Junior High   School 6
Natrona County School   District #1 Dean Morgan Junior High   School 7
Natrona County School   District #1 Dean Morgan Junior High   School 8
Natrona County School   District #1 Ft. Caspar Academy 3
Natrona County School   District #1 Ft. Caspar Academy 4
Natrona County School   District #1 Ft. Caspar Academy 5
Natrona County School   District #1 Paradise Valley Elementary 5
Natrona County School   District #1 Park Elementary 3
Natrona County School   District #1 Park Elementary 4
Natrona County School   District #1 Park Elementary 5
Natrona County School   District #1 University Park Elementary 3
Natrona County School   District #1 University Park Elementary 4
Natrona County School   District #1 University Park Elementary 5
Natrona County School   District #1 Oregon Trail Elementary 3
Natrona County School   District #1 Oregon Trail Elementary 4
Natrona County School   District #1 Oregon Trail Elementary 5
Natrona County School   District #1 Sagewood Elementary 3
Natrona County School   District #1 Sagewood Elementary 4
Natrona County School   District #1 Sagewood Elementary 5
Natrona County School   District #1 Summit Elementary School 3
Natrona County School   District #1 Summit Elementary School 4
Natrona County School   District #1 Summit Elementary School 5
Natrona County School   District #1 Centennial Junior High School 6
Natrona County School   District #1 Centennial Junior High School 7
Natrona County School   District #1 Centennial Junior High School 8
Park County School District #   1 Shoshone Learning Center 9
Park County School District #   1 Shoshone Learning Center 10
Park County School District #   1 Shoshone Learning Center 11
Park County School District #   1 Powell High School 9
Park County School District #   1 Powell High School 10
Park County School District #   1 Powell High School 11
Park County School District #   1 Clark Elementary 3
Park County School District #   1 Clark Elementary 4
Park County School District #   1 Parkside Elementary 3
Park County School District #   1 Parkside Elementary 4
Park County School District #   1 Parkside Elementary 5
Park County School District #   1 Southside Elementary 3
Park County School District #   1 Southside Elementary 4
Park County School District #   1 Southside Elementary 5
Park County School District #   1 Westside Elementary 3
Park County School District #   1 Westside Elementary 4
Park County School District #   1 Westside Elementary 5
Park County School District #   6 Glenn Livingston Elementary 5
Park County School District #   6 Sunset Elementary 5
Platte County School District   #2 Guernsey-Sunrise Elementary 3
Platte County School District   #2 Guernsey-Sunrise Elementary 4
Platte County School District   #2 Guernsey-Sunrise Elementary 5
Platte County School District   #2 Guernsey-Sunrise Elementary 6
Platte County School District   #2 Guernsey-Sunrise High School 9
Platte County School District   #2 Guernsey-Sunrise High School 10
Platte County School District   #2 Guernsey-Sunrise High School 11
Platte County School District   #2 Guernsey-Sunrise Junior High 7
Platte County School District   #2 Guernsey-Sunrise Junior High 8
Region V BOCES C-Bar-V Ranch 5
Region V BOCES C-Bar-V Ranch 7
Region V BOCES C-Bar-V Ranch 11
Sheridan County School   District #1 Big Horn High School 9
Sheridan County School   District #1 Big Horn High School 10
Sheridan County School   District #1 Big Horn High School 11
Sheridan County School   District #1 Tongue River High School 9
Sheridan County School   District #1 Tongue River High School 10
Sheridan County School   District #1 Tongue River High School 11
Sheridan County School   District #1 Tongue River Elementary 3
Sheridan County School   District #1 Tongue River Elementary 4
Sheridan County School   District #1 Tongue River Elementary 5
Sheridan County School   District #1 Big Horn Elementary 3
Sheridan County School   District #1 Big Horn Elementary 4
Sheridan County School   District #1 Big Horn Elementary 5
Sheridan County School   District #1 Big Horn Middle School 6
Sheridan County School   District #1 Big Horn Middle School 7
Sheridan County School   District #1 Big Horn Middle School 8
Sheridan County School   District #1 Tongue River Middle School 6
Sheridan County School   District #1 Tongue River Middle School 7
Sheridan County School   District #1 Tongue River Middle School 8
Sheridan County School   District #1 Slack Elementary 3
Sheridan County School   District #1 Slack Elementary 5
Sheridan County School   District #2 Henry A. Coffeen Elementary   School 3
Sheridan County School   District #2 Henry A. Coffeen Elementary   School 4
Sheridan County School   District #2 Henry A. Coffeen Elementary   School 5
Sheridan County School   District #2 Woodland Park Elementary 3
Sheridan County School   District #2 Woodland Park Elementary 4
Sheridan County School   District #2 Woodland Park Elementary 5
Sheridan County School   District #2 Sagebrush Elementary 3
Sheridan County School   District #2 Sagebrush Elementary 4
Sheridan County School   District #2 Sagebrush Elementary 5
Sublette County School   District #1 Pinedale Middle School 6
Sublette County School   District #1 Pinedale Middle School 8
Sublette County School   District #1 Pinedale Elementary 4
Sublette County School   District #1 Pinedale Elementary 5
Sweetwater County School   District #1 Walnut Elementary 3
Sweetwater County School   District #1 Walnut Elementary 4
Sweetwater County School   District #2 McKinnon Elementary 3
Sweetwater County School   District #2 McKinnon Elementary 4
Sweetwater County School   District #2 McKinnon Elementary 5
Sweetwater County School   District #2 Jackson Elementary 4
Sweetwater County School   District #2 Harrison Elementary 3
Sweetwater County School   District #2 Harrison Elementary 4
Teton County School District   #1 Jackson Hole High School 11
Teton County School District   #1 Jackson Hole Middle School 6
Uinta County School District   #6 Lyman High School 9
Uinta County School District   #6 Lyman High School 10
Uinta County School District   #6 Lyman High School 11
Uinta County School District   #6 Lyman Middle School 5
Uinta County School District   #6 Lyman Middle School 6
Uinta County School District   #6 Lyman Middle School 7
Uinta County School District   #6 Lyman Middle School 8
Uinta County School District   #6 Urie Elementary 3
Uinta County School District   #6 Urie Elementary 4
Washakie County School   District #1 Worland Middle School 6
Washakie County School   District #1 Worland Middle School 7
Washakie County School   District #1 Worland Middle School 8
Washakie County School   District #1 East Side Elementary 3
Washakie County School   District #1 East Side Elementary 4
Washakie County School   District #1 East Side Elementary 5
Washakie County School   District #1 South Side Elementary 3
Washakie County School   District #1 South Side Elementary 4
Washakie County School   District #1 South Side Elementary 5
Washakie County School   District #1 West Side Elementary 3
Washakie County School   District #1 West Side Elementary 4
Washakie County School   District #1 West Side Elementary 5
Weston County School District   #1 Newcastle Middle School 6
Weston County School District   #1 Newcastle Middle School 7
Weston County School District   #1 Newcastle Middle School 8
Weston County School District   #7 Upton Middle School 6
Weston County School District   #7 Upton Middle School 7
Weston County School District   #7 Upton Middle School 8
Weston County School District   #7 Upton Elementary 3
Weston County School District   #7 Upton Elementary 4
Weston County School District   #7 Upton Elementary 5
Weston County School District   #7 Upton High School 9
Weston County School District   #7 Upton High School 10
Weston County School District   #7 Upton High School 11

Tracking Your Child from Preschool into the Workforce in the name of Improving Education

Tracking Your Child from Preschool into the Workforce in the Name of Improving Education

KellySimoneOp-Ed by Kelly Simone

As the debate over the Common Core State Standards heats up both nationally and across the State of Wyoming, elected officials have cause to take notice. Parents, teachers, administrators and citizens are growing increasingly concerned about this nationally driven attempt at education reform. The local control we once enjoyed has been turned over. Interestingly, little attention has been given to the creation of a State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) that is now being built in Wyoming.

The State Longitudinal Data System is a direct result of Wyoming’s agreement to take State Fiscal Stabilization Funds under the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. Wyoming agreed to build this data collecting behemoth when they took $57 million dollars from the federal government.

The purpose of the SLDS is to collect and store data on students that can be used to analyze education policy. This data will be collected on children beginning before kindergarten and continue for four years into the workforce. It makes sense that policy makers would want to know if the Common Core State Standards are really ensuring “college and career readiness”….especially when they’ve never been field tested in any U.S. classroom. So you may ask, why do we need to collect data on Wyoming public school students from Pre-K into the workforce? Answer: to document whether or not this experiment on our students actually works.

More concerning, is the fact that over 20 state agencies are now signing a contract (MOU) to begin sharing data. This is unprecedented and in fact was never before possible, due to FERPA law. This law was designed to protect private student information. However, the US Dept. of Education amended FERPA law in 2012, so that state agencies can now share data. Interestingly, the US Dept. of Education did this through a regulations change, not an act of Congress.

The obvious question then becomes; what state agencies will now be sharing this information? The answer is currently, more than 20. In fact, additional agencies can request to become a party to this data sharing agreement. Right now, the Wyoming Department of Family Services, Workforce Services and Health are only among a few who will now be able to view and share data on Wyoming public school students.

In the 2012 budget session, the Wyoming Legislature approved Enrolled Act 29. In that budget was an appropriation to fund the SLDS, but it was buried in section 326. The appropriation was for over $5 million. Data collection on Wyoming students is authorized by Wyoming statute W.S.21-2-204 section (h). This statute authorizes the collection & usage of student data for educational purposes. However, the scope of the SLDS far surpasses educational purposes. How does the ability of Wyoming Department of Health to access and view student data improve a child’s public school education? The inclusion of non-education and non-assessment data in this repository is beyond an overreach of government control- it’s an invasion of privacy.

All parents, teachers, administrators and elected officials ought to seek to understand the risks involved when collecting massive amounts of data on citizens. The benefits are arguable, but the ramifications are serious. Instead of spending millions of taxpayer dollars on funding the SLDS, perhaps the state would do better to fund things that really help our students succeed.

For a document outlining the concerns with the SLDS, please visit: http://wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com/concerns-slds/

Sincerely,

Kelly Simone

Wyoming Citizens Opposing Common Core

Kelly Simone is a practicing Physician Assistant in Urgent Care Medicine.  She is  a Jackon Hole High School alumni.   She has two daughters, ages 6 & 8, and they are THE REASON she has dedicated much of her time to researching data changes and education reform in Wyoming and our nation.  Kelly and her husband have been married for almost 11 years, and currently reside in Cody, Wyoming. 

Hear Two Wyoming Moms on “Speak Your Piece” Discuss Common Core

BigHornNetwork

On January 10th, two mothers from Wyoming discussed the Common Core State Standards during the “Speak Your Piece” program on the Big Horn Radio Network.    I am grateful to warrior moms that are willing to make this a priority and do something that is out of their comfort zone!  Way to go Kelly and Erin!  Thank you for speaking out and voicing the opinions and concerns of many other mother’s across this state and country!

Please listen and share –>HERE!

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