If you child is in grades 3-8 or 11, he or she will be sitting for the SBAC or Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test this spring. SBAC is the testing arm of the Common Core, or what Connecticut has cleverly renamed “Connecticut Core Standards.”
This rename is no doubt an attempt by the state to deflect from the national and local groundswell of opposition to Common Core. But have no doubt, this is the same sub-par, incredibly expensive, developmentally inappropriate (especially in younger ages), privacy and data-mining nightmare — a top down national attempt at taking over education and stripping local control of standards and curriculum.
This post is not specially written to address Common Core itself — there is plenty of information available on that — but rather to remind all parents that are concerned about the data and privacy issues and content of these tests, that they have the absolute 100 percent right to opt their kids out of the SBAC testing –regardless of what they are told by their child’s school.
Again, there is plenty of support for that position you should research if you are not convinced.
It has been suggested by state Department of Education officials that if SBAC testing participation rates fall below 5 percent that the State could suffer potential negative consequences from the federal government in the form of holding back funding as punishment for this reduced participation.
This is a scare tactic and whether true or not, you should still feel confident in opting out if that is your wish. Only by creating push back in the form of financial impacts to the state and municipalities can we affect the change that we need — a full exit of Connecticut from Common Core — and return local control of education to parents, local school boards and teachers.
Whatever you decide, be informed and educated on the matter. Do not take anyone’s opinion or comments at face value, no matter who is saying it. Do your research and decide for yourself what is best for your child and their future.
Here is a great on line resource: ctagainstcommoncore.org.
Brian Gosper is a member of the Killingly Town Council and the parent of two public school students.