Dear Judy Park   5 comments

Last night at your presentation on Common Core tests, you promised to direct me to references documenting the truth of your statement: that the new common core AIR/SAGE tests are written by Utahns, for Utahs, in Utah. I am writing to request a direct link to that documentation.  I appreciate your response.
You also promised to answer questions after the meeting; however, when I asked you mine after the meeting, you turned away from me and began to speak to a principal instead.  The question remains unanswered: will you please direct me to documentation of the claim that the common core standards, upon which this test is built, are truly legitimate and that they have been empirically tested, rather than being the experimental idea of unelected noneducators?
While the testing technology is indeed impressive, it reminds me of admiring a shiny new roof on a building built on quicksand.  Admiring the roof seems a bit pointless.  I’m asking you to prove we’re not on quicksand.  Can you?
Last night, a few of us were asking whether student behavioral indicators would be tested.  You smiled warmly and said the test would only cover math, English and science.
However, in HB15,  the legislation that created space for these new common core computer adaptive tests, it says:
59        (d)  the use of student behavior indicators in assessing student performance;
I was unsure what student behavior indicators were until I read the recent explanation of a licensed clinical psychologist, who explained that it’s literally anything– anything from mental health evaluation to sporting events to social habits to family status and that measuring behavioral indicators gives results-readers “godlike predictive ability” over that child.  Since A.I.R. is a behavioral research agency before it’s an academic testing company, according to its own website, this concerns me greatly.
Please explain how Utah parents can rest assured that their children will not be tested and tracked concerning anything other than math, English and science in light of this legislation and in light of A.I.R.’s stated purpose.
Christel Swasey
Heber City

5 responses to “Dear Judy Park

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  1. Dear Cristel,
    Thank you so much for all your input about common core. I did not understand all the politics behind it until you brought it to light on Glenn Beck’s show. I know people have followed the money to find out where it is coming from. Where is the money going? I certainly don’t see it at my school.

    • The money is going to pay the corporations like Pearson, Microsoft, and others for Common Core testing technology, texts and teacher training. Not to the kids.


    • The money seems to be going to the implementation companies for Common Core: Pearson, Wireless Generation, American Institutes for Research, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, etc.


  2. I wrote the following letter to Jane who commented on the Facebook post…I was so ticked! This is what I said:


    I wanted to email you about a comment that you made on Facebook and about actions at the Monday SAGE meeting. I saw your comments today on Facebook from a post about the SAGE meeting. I was at that meeting as well, as you know. Your comment on fb is misleading to those who were not in attendance.

    This “other side” that you mention in your comment shows that there is a divide between parents and schools and also tells us parents that we should just trust the admin and not question. Christel Swasey’s questions and comments were perfectly right for the conversation that evening. If you have read the legislation from the state of Utah and from the federal government you would understand why the questions asked are completely valid. I know, because I have studied these and with a special needs child I understand it even better because of the risks it poses for my children.

    I agree the technology that is available is great, and will be helpful, but what administrators fail to see or care about is the big picture. As a mother I want ALL the questions that were asked to be answered. If you understood what Common Core involves and how everything is entangled, you would understand why it is so important to so many parents. Parents want proof!

    I was very disappointed at how some of the women who were there were treated. I also was very disappointed with our administrators and teachers who were vocally unkind any time a question was asked. I was also highly disappointed with the very back row when questions were asked. I feel very strongly that parents here in the district are being discredited more and more if their thoughts are not in line with the administrations. I lost a great deal of respect for several people on Monday night.

    As public servants, which all teachers and admin are, it is your duty to carefully teach and lead. We still have a voice as local taxpayers and residents, and until we lose that control the taxpayers have the right to question what is being done with our tax dollars. I expect more from this district and the people who are supposed to be examples and teachers to my children.

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