Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Opt Out Letters 2016-2017

Letter for online programs and assessments such as PSSA and keystone exam test prep, CASEL, surveys, questionnaires etc.

I am writing to inform you that [my child] be excused from all CDT, Study Island and any other computer assessments, questionnaires, surveys and programs.  If there is a computerized assessment or program my [son/daughter] must take, I require prior written parental informed consent.  I would also request an anonymous student login where [his/her] name or student ID is not attached or paper/pencil assessment where data mining would be limited. 

Please remove my child from any and all CASEL programs, including, but not limited to the programs listed below.

After much research regarding common core, Pennsylvania’s statewide longitudinal data system and its collection and sharing requirements, I have become even more suspicious and skeptical on the state's ability to secure data.  Since my [son/daughter] is not of legal age to legally bind [herself/himself] to ownership of [her/his] personal data, that responsibility falls on [her/his] parents.  Since the Pennsylvania Department of Education will not allow parents to opt out of the increasingly invasive data collection through PIMS I will remove [him/her] from the means for data collection. 

I am sure you can appreciate my desire to protect [name] from the possibility of identity theft at an early age.  While I do have concerns with the educational value, security and privacy of the common core aligned CDT, Study Island, GAFE (Google Apps For Education) and especially the new CASEL programs, my biggest concern with electronic assessments is data collection and privacy of my minor child and the adverse repercussions of personal data on college and career opportunities.

Source and descriptions of programs:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Keystone Graduation Requirement Changes

The Pennsylvania Department of Education had to respond to the issues around the Keystone exam requirement and the PBA.  THIS IS THEIR REPORT, which needs to go to the general assembly for a vote.  Once it does, students will have four options to get through the Keystone exams.

This is the PDE recommendations from page 3 of the above linked report:

  1. Adopt and implement four options for students to demonstrate postsecondary readiness as follows:
    1. Option 1: Achieve an identified composite score, based on performance across all three
      Keystone exams (Algebra I, Biology and Literature);
    2. Option 2: Achieve equivalent score(s) in standards-based subject matter content area(s) on one
      of the alternate assessments approved by PDE;
    3. Option 3: Demonstrate competency in standards-based subject matter content through course
      grades or assessments plus, for students who are identified as Career and Technical Education (CTE) Concentrators, demonstrate evidence of readiness for postsecondary success through National Occupancy Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI)/National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) Skills assessments or Competency Certificates; and
    4. Option 4: Demonstrate competency in standards-based subject matter content through course grades or assessments plus evidence related to postsecondary plans that demonstrate readiness to meaningfully engage in those plans.
  2. Discontinue the use of Project Based Assessments as an option for meeting state graduation requirements.
  3. Allow local education agencies (LEA) to determine whether or not to include Keystone exam scores on student transcripts.