Resolution in Support of SB351 -- Audit the SBAC, Again
Sack the SBAC!
Members of the Education Study Group of the Multnomah Democratic Party traveled to Salem to testify in support of Senator Lew Frederick's SB351(2017), a bill that directs the Secretary of State to conduct audit of use of statewide summative assessment in public schools in this state. Wait, wait! Didn't Lew Frederick and Shemia Fagan propose such a bill already? And didn't that bill pass? And didn't the committee convene to produce a report for the Secretary of State ? And don't we now know how much the SBAC tests cost? Well, yes, yes, yes, and no.
Senator Kruse responded, "It may be appropriate for me to acknowledge the fact that this may be the only time I'm agreeing with the Democratic Party of Multnomah County."
To see a video of the full testimony, click on the photo. Our testimony states with
Mary Thamann at the 37:43 mark followed by Deb Mayer and David Crandall. It ends
with Senator Kruse's remark that evoked a cheer from the gallery at 48:00. Continue
viewing to see testimony from Oregon Save Our Schools (OSOS) and Community
Alliance for Public Education CAPE.
Parents Across America Oregon recommends suspending the SBAC tests until their value and cost can be determined. What would be the harm in kids skipping a summative test for a year? Cost savings would be tremendous!
The report produced by the audit committee was found woefully inadequate. Rachel Rich of CAPE testified that the actual costs of SBAC maybe over $600 million over the past seven years. Her report is based on a well-sourced findings that can be studied here. In a subsequent meeting of the State Board of Education, March 23rd, Rachel again presented her findings. At that time, Salam Noor, Deputy Superintendent of Education, said the annual cost of SBAC tests is about $9.5 million. When asked where that figure came from, he was reluctant to cite sources. So, how much does SBAC testing cost? Eighty-six million or nine-and-a half million dollars a year. The state should be able to give us a reasonable answer. We demand it!
An audit is definitely needed. It must be inclusive and calculate all items associated with he tests that add costs to state and local budgets. Parents Across America Oregon recommends suspending the SBAC tests until their value and cost can be determined. What would be the harm in kids skipping a summative test for a year? Under the Every Child Succeeds Act, states can determine the test taken. West Virginia has already ditched the SBAC. Salam Noor has said that Oregon may consider SAT or ACT for high schoolers next year. So far, he hasn't budged on the invalid and unreliable SBAC for grades 3 -- 8. It will take more than an audit to move the state in the direction of teaching instead of testing. Parents must get involved. Students must protest the flawed tests that can dramatically affect their futures. Opting out is a first step. But demanding the cancellation of this test makes more sense.
Read the Resolution. Then write, call, or email your legislators.