To: David Lifferth,
Subject: Please vote YES on HB 81; your support is needed to protect parental rights
Date: Fri Feb 07 07:00:42 MST 2014
Please vote YES on HB 81 and pass it out of committee. Parental rights need your protection. HB81 protects parental rights by allowing any parent to participate in the review process for the new SAGE (Common Core) tests. Through the bill, test integrity is protected via non-disclosure. Please see details, below, and pass HB 81 out of committee.
HB81 solves these two problems:
1. Currently, only 15 Utah parents are allowed to participate in the review process. This should be open to any parent who is willing to participate, and will sign a non-disclosure agreement.
2. The current non-disclosure agreement is too broad: it currently prohibits parents from discussing test questions. While probably well-intended, it is an infringement of 1st amendment rights. This can be fixed by removing the word “discuss.”
Parents have the Constitutionally-protected right and duty to exercise primary control over the care, supervision, upbringing, and education of their children (Utah Code Section 62A-4a-201). The contract with the vendor (AIR) recommended that test questions be reviewed by at least 100 parents, yet only 15 parents are currently allowed. They reviewed approximately 10,000 questions in just 5 days, which doesn't allow time for parents to thoroughly review and give feedback on the questions.
I am concerned also that they flagged 597 questions that they found objectionable, yet only a fraction of those objectionable questions were dropped or changed (43 dropped, 156 changed). None of the parents was told which objectionable test questions remain in the test, or what changes were made. In order for parents to truly have educational oversight and for the state to take a secondary role, as Utah Code states (Utah Code Section 62A-4a-201), they must have more influence in this process.
Please vote YES on HB 81 and pass it out of committee.