Social Emotional Learning Tests

By: Linda Murphy, Oklahoma Educator

Introduction:  This article was first published in “The Oklahoma Constitution” in the Spring 2016 Issue and was entitled: “How will Oklahoma’s K-12 Students be Tested?”  Oklahoma pulled out of the highly controversial Federal backed PARCC Partnership for Assessment of Readiness in Careers and College Consortium testing in 2013. In May of 2014 the Common Core State Standards were removed from law and a mandate for new  non-common core standards and aligned testing was put into law. Now…..the new student testing trend on the national level is expanding into the Social Emotional Learning area. This is not acceptable to the majority of Oklahoma parents and teachers who know about it nor by many other American citizens.

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Student testing is in transition across America. We typically think of students taking tests so we can see if they have learned the facts, knowledge, information and academic skills expected at their grade level. Today, however, there are major efforts being made to test more…… much more. Before we go there and jump on “the newest bandwagon” we need to take a very close look. We should step back and ask “Why are we testing students? What do we need to know about students and why do we need to know it?”

There is great anxiety growing among teachers and parents in several states because testing is being expanded into what is called “Soft Skills” or “Social and Emotional Learning” (SEL). This new testing is being added to tests required by some states as part of their accountability system. SEL testing can also be embedded into curriculum sold directly to schools in states where SEL testing isn’t required.

SEL testing is frequently found in programs delivered by computer software or online but can also be found in pencil and paper tests or in simple surveys printed on paper. Social and Emotional Learning involves psychological or behavioral performance, which is classified in the “Affective Domain” and includes emotions, feelings, attitudes, values and beliefs.

The goals used in traditional teaching and testing are from the “Cognitive Domain” including mental skills used in academics. For years, teachers have been writing and teaching traditional lessons focused on skills in the Cognitive Domain.

In my college courses I learned to write Individualized Education Plans, IEPs, for students with special learning needs. Students with IEPs had individualized traditional cognitive or academic goals but also sometimes had needs for “Affective” or behavioral goals and at times they needed goals from the Psycho-motor Domain or manual/physical skills. (These three domains are from “Bloom’s Taxonomy” classification system.)

Never….ever… would I (nor any professional educator) write plans, test or train a student in the Affective or Psycho-motor skills without parental consent. It is illegal and potentially dangerous to work with students in the psychological area of emotions, feelings, attitudes, values and beliefs except with parental consent and a certified professional administering the test and interpretation of test results. The student’s test results and IEP are called “confidential files” and are kept in locked cabinets. I always guard the key for security. But now under President Obama’s administration, states have created State Longitudinal Data Systems where even confidential student information can be stored if state officials allow it.

We are entering an era of unprecedented efforts to deliver testing and training for students via technology. Instead of being certain that a certified professional educator who knows and cares about your child will be in the classroom making a final decision about what your child is given, we now must consider that more and more teachers are being moved to the side while technology delivered programs take center stage.

In some programs critical decisions that affect your child’s future are being made without the classroom teacher’s input. In those situations the teacher may not have an opportunity to see or evaluate what their students will see and be learning while sitting at the computer.

Some of the newest technology is delivering “adaptive” curriculum and assessments containing SEL items. These computer delivered programs will “adapt” and become individualized to each student’s performance level as they respond to tasks on the screen. Other new interactive programs are designed like games where the student responds to a screen display and their performance is recorded. There are games being designed to score both psychological and academic skills for a “fun” and often undetected form of testing.

As I said in the opening…… Before we go there and join “the newest bandwagon” we need to take a very close look. We should step back and ask: Why are we testing students? What do we need to know about students and why do we need to know it?

This is just the tip of the iceberg as we consider challenges in choosing the best direction for Oklahoma Public Schools and we strive to provide unlimited opportunities for all students to learn to the best of their individual ability in a safe school environment.


Linda Murphy, Oklahoma Educator, is a leader in grassroots politics in Oklahoma. She led the repeal of Outcomes Based Education from state law in 1995 and helped lead the repeal of Common Core State Standards in 2014. She is a strong proponent of a full and well-rounded education for students using proven methods as well as local control of education and parents’ rights.

Linda Murphy has served as Education Advisor to the Governor of Oklahoma and as Deputy Commissioner of Labor for Workforce Education and Training. She has been a certified teacher for 30 years. Linda works with students who have learning difficulties including visual perception problems and developmental delays. She is certified in testing and training students to develop their skills using the SOI -Structure of Intellect program. She has spoken to hundreds of groups of parents and teachers about education, child development, vision and learning, education policy and politics around the state and nation.

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Should the federal or state government determine your child’s MENTAL HEALTH? Alabamans say NO!

The Federal Government and some state governments are working on plans being promoted as needed solutions to solve ALL problems with children.  This is a rapidly growing movement fueled by more and more sophisticated technology being used to gather more and more data on children in K-12 public schools. These kids are a captive audience because they are naturally expected to follow instructions given by the adults in charge. Students often don’t even know when the computer program or class survey they are working on is aimed at gathering their personal and “private” information.

The student responses are evaluated to determine if this child is At Risk?  Disadvantaged?  an Under achiever? Bullied? Depressed? a Victim of Social Injustice? In Danger? has Special Needs? or Neglected? If so they can “fit” into the categories where federal, state or foundation money is coming in to pay for their treatment. It all fits nicely into boxes and graphs whose variables or descriptors* have been pre-determined. The more problems….. the more money needed…. and so on and on it goes.

By delving deeper and deeper into an individual child’s personal life more information is gained for use by those who want no limits on their social engineering quest to find and fix all they designate as a problem. BUT… parents are learning these social engineers are now crossing the line!

Alabamans got a look at the “Comprehensive” plan for “wrap around services” for ALL children K-12 in Alabama. They saw that each child’s mental health would be assessed and goals for fixing what becomes labeled as problems with attitude, values, beliefs and character would then be a regular part of their child’s individualized school curriculum!  What??? Yes… it’s true.

We can thank the Alabama citizens who rose up to put the brakes on and at least temporarily STOP the plan in their state. On June 11, 2015 the Alabama State School Board was originally planning to vote on the comprehensive plan but there was no vote taken due to opposition.  There is a long list of reasons to oppose such a crossing of the line by the government… whether it is state or national.  In fact, NCLB -No Child Left Behind pushed this idealogy forward by advancing the federal governments role in student testing.  There is no legal basis for the federal government to be involved in testing, which also affects the curriculum.  NCLB needs to be removed from the ESEA -Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The national plans that President Obama is bringing forward to roll out in 2017 are of the same philosophy found in the Alabama plan. The plans include psychological testing in NAEP -National Assessment of Educational Progress, which has been administered since 1969.  (hmmmm 2017….. That would be just after we have elected a new president….. guess they wouldn’t be responsible for the psychological testing then would they?)

The Alabama plan could have been used as a National Model according to the UCLA Center for School Mental Health and the American School Counselors Association which allied with Alabama’s State Superintendent Tommy Bice, who serves at the pleasure of the State School board under Governor Bentley who is the Board President.

Please read the other links on this site and you will learn much more about the reality we are facing. The evidence is all there and you can verify it all for yourself. We now must see and rise up to stop these plans that intrude into the mind, will and emotions of every child – their very soul! We must not let these policies get a stronghold on our states and in our nation!  Let’s Rise UP and Stop it!

Thank you Alabamans for exposing this and putting on the brakes in your state!

* de·scrip·tor   noun
  1. an element or term that has the function of describing, identifying, or indexing,                   in particular.
    • Linguistics –a word or expression used to describe or identify something.
    • Computing –a piece of stored data that indicates how other data is stored.
      (definition by Google)

ALL STUDENTS TO HAVE GOALS FOR MENTAL HEALTH in ALABAMA – NATIONAL MODEL

The Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Model for Alabama Public Schools

or State K-12 Mental Health Plan now called

“A Unified and Comprehensive System of Learning Supports for Alabama Students” 

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ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs

ASCA – American School Counselor Association

This paper is a short summary taken directly from the complete document, which is linked below.  This document was produced by State Superintendent Bice.  Please read this summary and consider the loss of parental authority and the extreme level of intrusion into the personal life of every child in K-12th grade in Alabama Public Schools which will occur if this model is accepted by the Alabama State School Board. (The vote for this plan was scheduled to be held on June 11th, 2015 but was cancelled due to opposition.)

This is a dangerous expansion of the authority of public schools into the private lives of students, which has never been allowed in American schools. This plan sets goals for changes in students’ emotions, feelings, attitudes, values and beliefs. The area educators call the “affective domain” (from Blooms Taxonomy).  Please consider this plan and contact your elected State School Board Member, State Superintendent Bice and Governor Bentley about your view of this program. You can find a link below about President Obama and Governor Bentley’s Mental Health Plan for contact information.

The Alabama State Plan “is an integral part of the preparation of all students to be college and career ready. It serves as a framework to guide school districts, individual schools, and individual counselors in designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive, developmental, and systematic counseling program.”

1. It “should be used by all Alabama public schools for developing and implementing comprehensive, outcome-based school counseling and guidance programs that meet the needs of all students.”

2. “All students will receive a data-driven counseling program that promotes academic achievement, career readiness, and personal/social development”, which includes their “attitudes, character, values and beliefs.”

3. It is “aligned with ASCA National Model and its revisions and includes four interrelated components: foundation, delivery system, management system, and accountability.”

4. The “ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs, and three revisions promulgate national school counseling standards.” 

5. It “helps students achieve their full potential through four program delivery components: School Guidance Curriculum, Individual Student Planning, Responsive Services, and Indirect Services.”

6. “Comprehensive school counseling and guidance programs are data-driven by student needs and provide outcome-based accountability measures that align the school counseling and guidance program with the school’s overall academic mission.”

7. “VII. RESPONSIVE SERVICES–7.1 Every K-12 student receives prevention education to address life choices in academic, career, and personal/social development.

Click on link below for the complete plan then click on the 1st item listed as:

1. Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Model for Alabama Public Schools

https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/ViewMeetingOrder.aspx?S=70577&MID=1610

PRESIDENT OBAMA and ALABAMA GOVERNOR BENTLEY’S DANGEROUS K-12 MENTAL HEALTH PLANS

Alabama State Superintendent of Schools, Tommy Bice, is leading the way into the dangerous new area of government over-reach into mental health assessments based on national counseling standards and mental health/behavioral goals for all students K-12th grade.  Superintendent Bice serves as an official with approval by Governor Bentley, who is also the president of the state school board. Republican Governor Bentley is following the same education philosophy as President Obama whose plans include adding psychological testing to the NAEP -National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2017.  (See “STOP PRESIDENT OBAMA’S MOVE INTO “THE DARK SIDE OF NATIONAL TESTING” linked below.) June 11th, at 10:30 am the Alabama state school board will meet to vote to accept or reject the K-12th grade Mental Health plan. Superintendent Bice has worked closely with the National Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA to put together a “Comprehensive Plan”  set to collect data through assessments of all students that will be used to develop the furthest reach into behavior assessment and training ever before seen in American Public Schools.  This “social engineer” planning would transform Alabama’s schools into a system which more resembles a behavior training laboratory  than a school system with an academic mission.  The plan was delivered to the State School Board and has been under controversy after it was closely examined. For all the wonderful people in Alabama, for their children, grandchildren and also importantly for all of America, where this could spread if we allow it, please help bring this dangerous plan to the light. Read the links provided below and take action!  If you live in Alabama or if you know anyone in Alabama ask them to contact the Alabama state school board (listed below), the state superintendent (334-242-9700), the Governor (334-242-7100).  Then call Alabama legislators who can pass legislation if needed (listed below).

Tell them to  “STOP ALABAMA’S MENTAL HEALTH PLAN FOR K-12!”

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ALABAMA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

Governor Robert Bentley President

Al Thompson District I

Betty Peters District II

Stephanie Bell District III

Yvette M. Richardson, Ed.D. District IV

Ella B. Bell, Vice President District V

Cynthia Sanders McCarty, Ph.D. District VI

Jeff Newman, President Pro Tem District VII

Mary Scott Hunter, J.D. District VIII

Thomas R. Bice, Ed.D. Secretary and Executive Officer

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ALABAMA HOUSE AND SENATE MEMBERS

http://www.legislature.state.al.us/aliswww/Representatives.aspx

http://www.legislature.state.al.us/aliswww/Senators.aspx

**UPDATE — The Alabama State School Board did not pass the K-12 Mental Health Plan due to opposition!!  Thanks to all the people who stood up to expose this.  We know these “social engineers” don’t give up so we will keep watching and taking action.  All states are subject to have this type of “comprehensive” mental health for all being put into place.  More to come on this…….

STOP PRESIDENT OBAMA’S MOVE INTO “THE DARK SIDE OF NATIONAL TESTING” -Part II

Part I of this article provides information announced on June 2, 2015 about what President Obama is doing through the Federal Department of Education and the NAEP -National Assessment of Educational Progress, which crosses the line into the “dark side” of testing with the government probing into the mind, will and emotions of each student.

Part 1: https://lindamurphyoklahomaeducator.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/obama-administration-advancing-the-dark-side-of-national-testing/

Part II, which follows, contains an article from 2001 describing the tremendous amount of information about national psychological testing uncovered first in Pennsylvania.  That discovery provided the basis of the work by Pennsylvanians Anita Hoge and Peg Luksik who have spent countless hours informing the public.  Both of these women traveled to Oklahoma where they spoke at meetings of 300 – 600 people in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, which I organized along with many grassroots volunteers.  Anita, Peg and others like myself, who fought the education “transformation” battles in the 90’s, are working again to stop the current take-over of education by the social engineers.

We can’t ignore the fact that Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, both hoping to become president, are also national leaders in efforts to centrally control education and we need to pay attention to these issues.  This problem of federal control and over reach in testing will not go away when President Obama leaves the office.  He has already advanced the testing agenda with the stimulus money for P-20 longitudinal “database” for data to be collected and stored from preschool (prenatal in some states) to 8 years after high school (thus 8 + 12 or 20).  But President Obama is only continuing efforts which have been going on for a long time and have gone much further into the privacy of students and their families that most people have even imagined.

In this article from 2001, educator Bev Eakman describes and explains how assessments are used for psychological profiling, emphasizing a psychological assessment of a child’s needs, background, ability to conform to the group and for “social scientist’s speculation about the (home’s) environmental conditioning of the child.”

The Dark Side of Nationwide School Tests –Bev Eakman, 2001

President Bush’s education initiative calls for the testing of every student in the nation, but these “assessments”‘ in the past involved Big Brother-style psychological profiling.

The proponents of President George W. Bush’s education initiative, called “No Child Left Behind,” believe that they can make schools accountable to parents as well as taxpayers.  The centerpiece of this, as it appears in the amendments to the Elementary and Secondary School Act, still in House-Senate conference as this article goes to press, is a massive nationwide program designed to test every student in grades 3 to 8 in reading and math.  Both House and Senate bills propose some $400 million in federal funds to be sent to the states to devise and administer the tests on a state-by-state basis.

By giving tax money to each state to devise its own tests, supporters hope to mollify conservatives on the one hand, who fear national indoctrination by the US Department of Education, and liberals on the other, who dread the consequences of holding educators personally accountable for whether the children they teach actually learn.  The language of the House bill, HR1 (NCLB) for example, states in an unresolved contradiction that each state shall demonstrate that it has adopted “challenging academic standards and challenging academic-achievement standards.”  In the same breath, the bill says that “a state shall not be required to submit such standards to the Secretary.”The problem is that “academic standards” as defined by common sense and by lawmakers tend to be meaningless when defined by (certain) educators.

The bill calls for “challenging academic-content standards in academic subjects that specify what children are expected to know and be able to do” and contain “coherent and rigorous content and encourage the teaching of advanced skills.”  Yet both House and Senate bills shy away from using the term “tests” and substitute the edu-speak word “assessments.”

The reason is that public education during the last 30 years has tended against testing for knowledge of content, instead emphasising a psychological assessment of a child’s needs, background and ability to conform to the group.  A “test” is an objective measure of a child’s ability to solve a problem; an “assessment” is a social scientist’s speculation about the (home’s) environmental conditioning of the child.

Thus the “assessment” of a child’s ability to read or to do math in the current testing already in use has more to do with probing the child’s psyche and teaching him or her to conform to group values than with testing ability to add two plus two.  The leading educational experts will read the bill’s language as a license to invade the privacy of every child in the country rather than hold failing schools accountable.  And since the bill necessarily honors the principle of local control, it is likely the local educational bureaucracies doing the controlling will welcome the bill as a $400 million slush fund to do exactly what they have been doing to thwart educational reform.

The trouble with school tests begins with the increasing inclusion of sophisticated “behavioral” components that encompass a wide variety of lifestyle and opinion data, nailing down student proclivities, social attitudes and parent-inculcated worldviews.  Combined with the plethora of “health” (sex and drug) surveys, mental-health screenings, diary/journal-keeping and other miscellaneous questionnaires – mostly taking place in the classroom under cover of academics – testing has become more equated with personality inventories than proficiency exams.  In that context, what passes for testing even may undermine the accountability President Bush advocates.The case against standardised tests hinges on the quantum leap in data-gathering, cross-matching and information-sharing capabilities, with all the accompanying problems associated with data-trafficking, invasion of privacy and consumer profiling.  Barely a week goes by that a publication somewhere doesn’t carry a story detailing a new affront to what used to be considered “nobody’s business.”

One of the earliest examples of psychological data-gathering under the cover of academics occurred in the pivotal 1980s, when enormous breakthroughs in computer technology were being piloted with federal funds in selected localities.  One of those was in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, initiated under the 8-state Cooperative Accountability Project.  A handful of parents – among them, Gen Yvette Sutton, Anita Hoge and Francine D’Alonzo – got wind of a standardised academic test “no one could possibly study for” being disseminated in the McGuffey School District: the Educational Quality Assessment (EQA).

After several unsuccessful attempts to gain access, a trip to the state education agency in Harrisburg finally yielded the facts.  Not only did more than one-half the questions not relate to factual knowledge, but numerical codes next to the questions as printed on the administrative version of the test turned out to correlate with specific “remediating” curricula. It included questions such as:

I get upset easily at home:  [a] very true of me; [b] mostly true of me; [c] mostly untrue of me; [d] very untrue of me.   You are asked to dinner at the home of a classmate having a religion much different from yours.  In this situation I would feel: [a] very comfortable; [b] comfortable; [c] slightly uncomfortable; [d] very uncomfortable.   There is a secret club at school called the Midnight Artists.  They go out late at night and paint funny sayings and pictures on buildings.  I would JOIN THE CLUB when I knew [a] my best friend had asked me to join; [b] most of the popular students in school were in the club; [c] my parents would ground me if they found out I joined.”

This last question, in particular, got parents’ attention.  It presumes that the child will join the club under some circumstances, including the desire to provoke parents.  They thought the question more or less asked: “How can we get this kid to vandalise property?”

The EQA had 375 questions covering attitudes, worldviews and opinions – mostly hypothetical situations and self-reports.  There were 30 questions on math and another 30 covering verbal analogies – just enough academic questions to appear credible.

Every such test is distributed with professional literature for the educators – which is strictly off-limits to the parents.  The EQA told educators it was testing for: the student’s “locus of control,” his “willingness to receive stimuli,” his “amenability to change” and whether he would “conform to group goals.”  In lay terms, these translate to: Where’s the child coming from?  Is he easily influenced?  Are his views firm or flexible?  Is he a team player who will accede to group consensus?  Choice “b,” then, was the preferred response to the Midnight Artists question because it reflects a willingness to “conform to group goals.

“Today, such testing is more sophisticated.  A fascinating aspect of a recent Michigan Assessment, for example, was that regardless of the section – reading, science, geography – the questions all sounded like social studies.  For example, there was nothing about topography in the geography section; it covered “global issues” – overpopulation, colonial victimization and redistribution of resources to Third World countries.  The writing-sample topic?  “Coping With Change.”

Five science questions for fifth-graders concerned universal child fingerprinting, but involved no science.  The multiple choices, even the “incorrect” ones, seemed more like endorsements than questions: “fingerprinting doesn’t hurt,” “lost children can be identified,” et cetera.  Not a single “down side” was offered.  The one question that sounded like a question was so simple that one could reasonably have asked whether this were the reading or the science section:

Fingerprinting is MOST useful in which of the following jobs: [a] police work, to help in crime fighting; [b] window washing, to help clean windows; [c] auto mechanics, to help cars run better; [d] teaching, to help kids learn to multiply.”

Task 1 from the history section – on women in combat – was “Interpreting Information.”  Prefaced in small print was, “Directions: Read the following hypothetical information about a public policy issue.  Use it with what you already know to complete the tasks that follow.”

Parent activists Deborah DeBacker of Troy, Michigan, and Joan Grindel of Bloomfield, Michigan, say it’s doubtful fifth-graders either understood or acted upon the term “hypothetical.”  In any case, the only interpretation one could draw from the data provided is that women should be in combat.  Despite assurances in the essay instructions that the student’s views per se don’t matter, it’s clear that any view not supported by those “hypothetical facts” in the data section will be judged insufficient to warrant a top grade.  In the example, testers actually begin the paragraph for the pupil: “I think that women members of the military should definitely be allowed to participate.”

Questionnaires, curricula and activities that target the belief system are called “affective devices.”  Psychology texts describe the belief system as made up of attitudes, values and worldviews existing below the level of conscious awareness.  Affective means “noncognitive,” “dealing with emotions and feelings” rather than the intellect.  Using affective-questioning techniques makes it easier to test the subject’s belief system.  Some go so far as to test for “psychological threshold.”  The teacher’s guide to Pennsylvania’s 1986 citizenship curriculum defined this threshold as “the severity of stimulus tolerated before a change of behaviour occurs.”  The manual explained that “it is possible to assess not only the students’ predisposition [toward certain reactions] but also to provide some measure of the intensity of that predisposition across a wide spectrum of situations.”

Some profiling instruments are explicit and blatant, such as Pennsylvania’s and Michigan’s, while others are more subtle.  Most states label them “assessments” rather than “tests,” further confusing the issue for parents.  Regardless of the label, opponents claim that personality testing in the context of an academic setting, and the psychotherapeutic sales packages (curricula) that typically ensue, portend a high-tech threat not only to privacy but to a child’s future employability and freedom of conscience.

Then there are the student-identification methods applied to “confidential” tests and surveys the testers say are not “individually identifiable.”  This doesn’t mean, however, that students are not “individually identified.”  Confused?  The National Center for Education Statistics 1993 Field Restricted Use Data Procedures Manual explains this semantic sleight of hand.  Techniques range from simple bar-coding and “slugging” to more-complicated exercises such as “sticky-labelling” and inserting “embedded identifiers.”

To the testers, however, the term “confidential” means “need to know.”  The “confidential” label casually applied by officials to modern testing and survey devices invariably is taken for anonymity, thereby masking the fact that:

  1. higher scores are accorded “preferred” viewpoints,
  2. curriculum is modified and targeted to specific groups of children to correct “inappropriate” attitudes and, more ominously,
  3. certain views that once were considered “principled” now are deemed “rigid” and associated with mental illness or psychological defects.

Among the at-risk “indicators” are viewpoints and behaviours deemed by the testers to be what they call “indicative of a rigid or underdeveloped belief system.”  Pupils are referred to psychologists for “remediation” to render their attitudes and responses more “realistic.”  Several professional papers, beginning with the acclaimed 1969 Behavioural Science Teacher Education Project (BSTEP), place “firm religious belief” in the “rigid/inflexible” category.  BSTEP also projected a world “so saturated with ideas and information [by the 1990s that] few will be able to maintain control over their opinions.”

So far is all this testing and evaluation from confidential that today’s burgeoning computer cross-matching capability of public and private records has launched an information industry of data traffickers and information brokers.  Some are licit and others black-market, but they cater to the needs of employers, credit bureaus, universities, corporate spies and government agencies.

Of course, evidence of serious peril to our American presumption of “personal affairs” was being debated among high-ranking educators as far back as 1969, when Wolcott Beatty wrote his seminal work, Improving Educational Assessment and an Inventory of Measures of Affective Behaviour.  Dozens of related publications followed, documenting a slippery slope from conceptual design of a test that would evaluate and compare effectiveness of learning programs to a federal-funding carrot that would ensure massive personal-data collection with automatic-transfer capability to federal and international databases.

In 1970, L J Chronbach’s Essentials of Scientific Testing sounded the first alarm: “Coding of records is not a full safeguard.  Identity can be detected by matching facts from the coded questionnaire with other facts that are openly recorded.”

By that time Dustin Heuston of the renowned World Institute of Computer-Assisted Technology (WICAT) in Utah uttered his prophetic assertion: “We’ve been staggered by realising that the computer has the capability to act as if it were 10 of the top psychologists working with one student.  Won’t it be wonderful when no one can get between that child and that curriculum?”  Behavioural-science gurus Richard Wolf (Teachers College, Columbia University) and his colleague, Ralph Tyler, openly were advocating a need for surreptitious methods of data collection and student identification as early as 1974 in their coedited book, Crucial Issues in Testing.  They called for unified coding and standardised definitions to enhance cross-matching and data-sharing – from elementary schools on into the workplace.

Wolf supported “the permissibility of deception” in school-testing based on “the rights of an institution to obtain information necessary to achieve its goals.”  He stated that, danger or not, there “are occasions in which the test constructor [finds it necessary] to outwit the subject so that he cannot guess what information he is revealing.  From the constructor’s point of view this is necessary since he wishes to ascertain information that the individual might not furnish if it were sought directly.  A number of personality tests fall into this category.”

Despite admonitions, the lure of computerised cross-matching proved too enticing.  In 1981, the first education databanks were launched: the Common Core of Data, the Universe Files and the Longitudinal Studies.  In what is perhaps the most evidential document on the subject, Measuring the Quality of Education by Willard Wirtz and Archie LaPointe, the writers outline the US Education Department’s (ED’s) intention to ignore the legal and ethical warnings against privacy invasion:

Getting into the students’ personal characteristics and situations invariably prompts warnings that the NAEP [National Assessment of Educational Programs] purpose is not to analyse human development, and injunctions against confusing the measurement of educational results (outcomes) and the analysis of cause (inputs).  But it is being recognised increasingly that the measurement of achievement is incomplete without the accompanying identification of whatever educational circumstances may affect these results.

More prophetically, Wirtz and LaPointe wrote: “A different kind of assessment would help correct the tilt in the educational-standards concept toward functional literacy and away from excellence.”

Direct education away from excellence?  That’s right.  The authors detailed how a clearinghouse-style database incorporating demographic and psychological-profiling data would help steer schools toward what these “experts” deemed a more realistic ideal: mere functional literacy.

Policymakers at the ED quickly moved to shelve concerns about student and family privacy.  For example, James P Shaver wrote a detailed monograph, National Assessment of Values and Attitudes for Social Studies, published through the Office of Educational Research and Instruction (OERI), a division of the US Department of Education.  But by then there was no need to hide intent because OERI already had brought in four computer experts from Utah’s WICAT to prepare a working paper for the first consolidated education database.

In 1986, “A Plan for the Redesign of the Elementary and Secondary Data Collection Program” was finalised, incorporating attitudinal, lifestyle and value information.  It fell to the federally funded Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to ensure state/federal compatibility of computer systems and promote collection of data at the local level.  In a 1985 speech, CCSSO Director Ramsey Seldon placed “coordination of educational assessment and evaluation” on the highest priority, promoting the exchange of information about private citizens and their children in the name of comparing educational achievement.

Today, the three original education databases are part of a mammoth data-tracking/sharing system called the SPEEDE/ExPRESS.  Among other capabilities, data can be transmitted to universities and prospective employers via WORKLINK, a system set up by the Educational Testing Service.In 1988, the National Center for Education Statistics named 29 organisations, some with no clear ties to education, that were given automatic access to national assessment data – among them the Census Bureau, the office of the Montana State Attorney General, the Rand Corporation and the Economic Policy Institute.  Then technology took another quantum leap – more storage capability in less space, ultra-sophisticated search engines, intricate cross-matching methods.

And critics of all this are saying that puts President Bush’s national-testing initiative in a different light.  And it cuts left and right.  After all, if one faction can target a child’s belief system and keep records, so can another.

The basic dilemmas remain: If the use of psychographic instruments is legal and ethical, without informed, written, parental consent; if behavior-modification curricula can be brought into the classroom as legitimate learning material; if teachers, or even bona fide mental-health workers, can use the schools to “treat” youngsters for real or imagined psychological problems – then are schools really educational institutions or day-care clinics?”

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Now that we know this —–   WE MUST EXPOSE this….. warn parents, teachers and even those supporting the “transformation” of education where this is all leading.  Then everyone please get on the phone, email, twitter, facebook; set up meetings; write letters and tell your United States Representative and Senators to

“GET THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OUT OF STUDENT TESTING and KILL NCLB!”

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Author Eakman is a teacher and executive director of the National Education Consortium and the author of Cloning of the American Mind: Eradicating Morality Through Education.

PDF link – https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/dark-side-nationwide-test

STOP PRESIDENT OBAMA’S MOVE INTO “THE DARK SIDE OF NATIONAL TESTING” -Part I

by Linda Murphy, Oklahoma Educator, June 9, 2015

Do you want the federal government to check your child for mental Health? ……. give a psychological evaluation?…..or set behavioral goals for all students?  These are all a part of the plans rapidly advancing in President Obama’s administration for public school students.  These efforts have been exposed before in years past when they created great opposition from parents and teachers who put the brakes on.

This year Alabama’s State Superintendent of Schools Tommy Bice has tried to get a Comprehensive K-12 Mental Health Plan implemented in his state but so far the public outcry has prevented it. (See articles linked at bottom.)

Now…. just as we see that the national efforts to implement Common Core State Standards have a proverbial “stake in their heart”….. we are seeing this rise of effort by the federal government and some state leaders, like Alabama, to put in place testing that is being driven to delve into the very center of the being of a child.  Testing to determine not what students know intellectually, academically or “cognitively” or what academic skills they have developed, as we would expect in K-12 grade with traditional education testing, but testing developed to determine how their minds work…. how they feel “emotionally or affectively”…… what their beliefs and attitudes are, which effect a student’s determination to succeed.

Student Testing is being “transformed” into a series of assessments. The “inclusion of sophisticated “behavioral” components (in assessments) encompass a wide variety of lifestyle and opinion data, nailing down  student proclivities, social attitudes and parent-inculcated worldviews combined with the plethora of “health” (sex and drug) surveys, mental-health screenings, diary/journal-keeping and other miscellaneous questionnaires mostly taking place in the classroom under cover of academics” according to the findings of education expert Bev Eakman (read her article in Part II).

The Obama administration has been working on research in this area for several years and released a report that shocked many readers in February 2013.  “Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century” is linked below and provides much insight into the determination behind this push to go beyond academics into the very soul (mind, will and emotions) of a child.

http://pgbovine.net/OET-Draft-Grit-Report-2-17-13.pdf

The NAEP -National Assessment of Education Progress, where the new psychological assessments will be added, is supposedly a “voluntary” test given to students in randomly selected schools.  The NAEP started in 1969 following a grant and work with the Carnegie Foundation.  If you have haven’t seen the Carnegie work with the Clinton Administration exposed by the letter written to Hillary Clinton by Marc Tucker, director of Carnegie’s NCEE -National Center for Education and the Economy, you will want to read it in the following link.  You will see their “cradle to grave” plans for all children which includes psychological testing.  http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/marc_tucker/

In the 1990s NAEP came under fire by parents and teachers for including psychological testing.  Students in Pennsylvania were tested to see if they would “follow a group or act independently” along with other non-academic questions.  This rightfully alarmed parents who took it to court and won a suit against the federal government.

National testing and the direction being taken by the Obama administration is given power through NCLB -No Child Left Behind’s federal mandates.  We must work to KILL NCLB instead of re-authorizing it in the ESEA -Elementary and Secondary Education Act which is advancing in Washington D.C. now.

Oklahoma, like all states have big money corporate interests keeping several education groups and the State Chamber of Commerce in support of the nationalization of education which our state citizens have rejected twice.  In 1995 we repealed OBE -Outcomes Based Education from our state law and in 2014 we repealed Common Core State Standards. The NAEP psychological testing is another layer on top of state testing (which much also be kept free of psychological probes).

The NAEP has been lurking in the Federal Department of Education for years, with social engineers just “chomping at the bits” to put in a psychological evaluation of all students K-12th grade.  Of course, all done this is being done in the name of student safety and student success.

What is the NAEP?  The NAEP website states “The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. Paper-and-pencil assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, U.S. history, and in Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL). Beginning in 2017, NAEP will begin administering technology-based assessments (TBA) for mathematics, reading, and writing, with additional subjects added in 2018 and 2019.”

Education Week, June 2, 2015, told the nation that the psychological testing of students will be integrated into the 2017 NAEP.  WE MUST EXPOSE this….. warn parents, teachers and even those supporting the “transformation” of education where this is all leading.  Then everyone please get on the phone, email, twitter, facebook; set up meetings; write letters and tell your United States Representative and Senators to “GET THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OUT OF STUDENT TESTING and KILL NCLB!”

Link to Education Week article: http://mobile.edweek.org/c.jsp;jsessionid=DA03EF5ED8DC4DD36C121BEE64178056.aldo2?item=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edweek.org%2Few%2Farticles%2F2015%2F06%2F03%2Fnations-report-card-to-gather-data-on.html%3Fcmp%3DENL-EU-NEWS2&DISPATCHED=true&cid=25983841&cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS2