The new digital classroom. Where does opt out go from here? 

Part two of ‘COMPETENCY BASED LEARNING WILL REPLACE TESTING – the new digital classroom.’ 
See part one-  

CBE is the new trend. 

An Upstate New York parent shares this comment. She feels deceived and wants to let other parents know what to ask their schools:

“Hell hath no fury like a parent being decieved.

This is what we are being sold now with CBE. 

‘Technology based education is shiny, glittery, and new. Look at all the cool ways to interact! Our kids can learn from home, they can learn in the car, they will grow up to ‘become one’ with the technology that surrounds them. All the best schools are using online learning……. Our children need 21st century learning for 21st century jobs! We must hold teachers and schools accountable for the education of our children. Assessments are in bad, they take away instruction time, so let’s use technology to do ‘check ins’ on students, that way teachers can check for understanding in real time. No more week long assessments in our schools, we have technology now! No student will ever fall behind again, if the teacher uses data effectively!’
Don’t. Believe. A. Word Of It. Ask these questions of your district.

1) Show me the research that proves that technology based learning is better for children. 

2) Do online assignments require teacher interaction? Do they require student to student conversation? If the answer comes back with the terms ‘personalized’ or ‘independent’, that is a big red flag. Technology should amplify good teaching, NOT replace it. 

3) What is the projected cost of maintaining/updating the technology?How  about yearly online subscriptions? (Newsela charges $4000-$7000 per school per year, or $18 per student) Smart Bond money IS your money. Its a loan. You will pay it back.
Hell hath no fury like THIS parent decieved. We may not be able to stop it……but we dont have to allow it either.

-Written by An informed mom. 

Where does the opt out movement go next
New York activist Michelle Moore shares her thoughts on refusing all of it. She discusses the financial relevance of CBE and why it must be heavily scrutinized. Moore and many others believe that CBE needs to be rejected by parents to ensure the privacy and safety of the students:

“Opt out is Dead. The opt out we have become comfortable with is no longer effective. You know that nothing changed. So now what?

Computer based, personalized learning via a tablet is the end game. Why? Because it’s better? Nope. No evidence; in fact the evidence is contrary. 
Because the government is altruistic? Nope. That’s a silly idea. 

Why then? 
Because there are projected BILLIONS to be made off the data? 
Yes; it’s three-fold, in fact. 
First, the hardware and software are hugely profitable. 
Second, there are sustainable profits from data mining. 
Third, the workforce pathways are paved with job-ready human capital- aka: your child. 

It’s no longer about education in a traditional sense of human expansion, of creativity, innovative thinkers. It’s become about a managed collective, and the anticipated needed workers for the global workforce. 

Global Ed Tech and the Smart Classroom market is estimated to grow from USD 43.27 billion in 2015 to USD 93.76 billion, in 2020. North America is expected to experience a slower growth, though it is still expected to record high revenues.  

To increase market share and growth in North America the recent passage of ESSA was critical, and it has opened the floodgates. 
ESSA brought us here.

Without the passage of ESSA we would not be here writing about CBE. Why did the unions support this? Did they really think anything good could come of it? 

Over the past 7 years these foundations were built. Annual common core standardized testing was merely a stall tactic. Never meant to measure learning, the standardized tests were extremely flawed and secret. BUT, they gave evidence of “failure” and in a big way where projected failures were 70%! And magically, the reformer magicians ensured this to be true. They manipulated cut scores and ignored public outcry. We were failing, they said! Headlines followed. You know the rest. 

Washington is spending millions of our tax dollars to ensure every child is digitally connected. USDOE even had the Secretary of Education on a Multi-State Bus tour to announce with fanfare the next big move toward Innovation Assessments (nationalized testing for equity). 

States have fooled taxpayers like in NY with the passage of $2 Billion dollar Bond to fund it (Smart Schools Bond Act) further and faster. And, our children (and possibly their children) will be paying back this LOAN. 

Your children are the key component in this digital plan: they are the widgets. 
True, opt out NOW, has changed. Now it is to refuse the data collections. 
Refuse the directory inventory dashboard SLDS data. 

Click to access FERPAoptoutform.pdf

What are the options?

Refuse technology, and demand paper and pencil, and teachers as the experts, rather than accept computer based programs that will replace teachers. 

A refusal form-

The Competency based education delivery of social emotional learning (data mining) embedded for behavior manipulations is in every tablet program – full student tracking in 1:1 tablet use. 

How would parents refuse something so inclusive and nebulous?

New York educator John Sheffield shares the following;

“The following information may help in your optout endeavors in combination with the links provided. This can be used to support your rights as a parent where it comes to the education of your child.
Everything you need to know about opting out of harmful technology:

Everything You Need to Know About Opting Out of Harmful Technologies

Congressional notes that are applicable and powerful:

Supreme Court Rulings- 
The 10th Amendment: 

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

The 10th Amendment clearly states where federal power ends. No where did the framers even remotely give power of the education of the nation’s children to the Federal government.

This information supports a parent’s rights regarding the upbringing and education of their children.”

So what about the special needs students who benefit from education technology? There is a place for healthy, safe technology advancement. Is CBE meeting those criteria? 

Teacher Debbie Dermady says no:
“I have read so many articles and have seen the effects of iPad usage with special needs students. I think iPads are great interactive tools for any child, but with a set period of time. Those who place their students or own children in front of them to entertain/babysit them, just like tv, should realize the effect of doing so. There is nothing like a one to one teacher who can do much, much more. So you get a reward or reaction from the computer. A human reaction is ten times better and will enhance socialization-a critical need for all of us. Have you ever witnessed a classroom of one to one computer/iPad usage? I have. There is total silence. I as a teacher, do not want this. My classroom was always NOISY! That’s true learning! Now give the students an assignment with three to a computer and note-taking, that is where real learning takes place. Computers and all technology should be used as tools to ENHANCE learning from the teacher, not to serve as the answer.

In early 2000 I was a facilitator of online learning for PBS Teacherline. I have also been an online learner myself. I found the online learning to be a quick fix for those who want to hurry the process of learning. I found some of my students hurrying through and copying and pasting text information. I was not happy with that process. We all learn by doing. It’s the way life is. The best learning I have ever had is when my teachers taught the lesson, left you with questioning, and then had you work with a group to find the answers in relationship with said learning. Always leave your students questioning. It helps them become life long learners. I am tired of hearing about critical thinking lacking. I blame this on the way questioning is done. Some think teachers should be re-certified every so many years. I think PD is lacking all the time. It’s only about CC Crap or DATA. Time to share with each other is so important and there is very little time for this. Even our superintendent days were structured around data and CBE!”

More reading:

The Privatized Beaded Necklace “School of the Future”

A Grave New World

ABCs of Classrooms at Risk: DON’T just #OPTOUT

Please see part one of this series: