Federal Government to have Access to your Child’s Data Via Common Core Assessments
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) assessments will provide the federal government access to information about your child. Yes, that is right. And you were never asked as a parent if this is okay with you, were you? How did this happen? Who authorized this?
If your state has adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and will be using either the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) or Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessments the federal government will have access to your child’s individual data. Let’s explore this a bit.
First, the CCSS are a set of standards identifying what students are expected to learn. The standards themselves do not require any data to be shared with anybody. If that is the case, why do some people claim the Common Core State Standards require states to share student data with the federal government?
The Race to the Top (RTTT) Assessment Program awarded grants to PARCC and SBAC to develop assessments aligned to the CCSS. They each have an identical cooperative agreement. For PARCC, it is called the Cooperative Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Education and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers. For SBAC, it is called the Cooperative Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Education and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the State of Washington (fiscal agent). You can download the Cooperative Agreements from the Race to the Top Assessment Program Awardspage. Consortia member states are bound by the terms of these agreements. Are there terms in these agreements parents should be concerned about? YES!
Let’s look at the terms that may concern parents having to do with data. You are encouraged to check the cooperative agreement documents for yourself to verify these terms are actually n the agreements. It is established early in the document that ED stands for U.S. Department of Education. Grantee refers to the grant recipient—either PARCC of SBAC. Item 5 on page 3 says:
5) Comply with, and where applicable coordinate with the ED staff to fulfill, the program requirements established in the RTTA Notice Inviting Applications and the conditions on the grant award, as well as to this agreement, including, but not limited to working with the Department to develop a strategy to make student-level data that results from the assessment system available on an ongoing basis for research, including for prospective linking, validity, and program improvement studies; subject to applicable privacy laws.
This establishes that the agreement is referring to student-level (individual) data when it mentions data. The document says nothing about aggregate data.
Item 5(b) on page 11 reads:
(b) Producing all student-level data in a manner consistent with an industry-recognized open-licensed interoperability standard that is approved by the Department during the grant period;
Item 6 on page 10 reads:
6) The Grantee must provide timely and complete access to any and all data collected at the State level to ED or its designated program monitors, technical assistance providers, or researcher partners, and to GAO, and the auditors conducting the audit required by 34 CFR section 80.26.
Continue Reading at Truth In American Education
Here is the direct link to the Cooperative Agreement Between the U.S. Department of Education and the SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENT CONSORTIUM of which South Dakota is a governing member.
Is this ok with you? Did they ask your permission to share this data with the US Government?