AdvancEd Survey Violates Idaho Statute.

Filed in Uncategorized by on February 28, 2018 0 Comments

Several weeks ago we received a letter from a group of concerned citizens regarding the Panorama survey the State had chosen to give our student population.  As we were preparing to post the letter we were made aware that the state, who had also received the information from this group of concerned citizens, had decided to use the AdvancEd survey instead.

We were sent a second letter that addressed the concerns with this second survey.  You can compare the two letters and see that both are very similar.

Here is the first letter  which addresses the Panorama survey.  Immediatley below is the second letter which addresses the concerns of the AdvancEd survey.  It is our understanding that this letter was sent to every member of the Idaho House and Senate, with no real response.

 

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The question of the day; after releasing our Part #1 letter of concern over the Panorama survey our State Superintendent wanted to use to  gather personal information on children and families is still the same question now that our State Superintendent has tried to switch from the Panorama survey to the Advanced Ed survey.

Is House Education Chair Julie VanOrden in collusion with State Superintendent Ybarra to break Idaho law?

This session in the House has proven to be very challenging if you are an involved citizen. Everyday it’s like playing an adult version of hide and seek trying to keep track of where all the rules, draft legislation, and RS’s are going to be discussed. Apparently, Representative VanOrden has decided that her committee should be broken up into tiny sub-committees and each sub-committee can take the bundle of stuff she assigns them. Interestingly, no teacher has been picked to lead a subcommittee. The letter below is being released because no one can find the subcommittee that’s actually discussing this topic. In order for the citizens to be heard, and in order to ensure that the elected are working within the state law a public release option was chosen. These surveys are not about data to help children, they are about surveillance. Shouldn’t schools be busy teaching reading and writing, and not wasting time data mining our most vulnerable citizens?

 

To State Superintendent Sherri Ybarra & Allison Westfall with the State Department of Education & Blake Youd with the State Board of Education,

On February 7, 2017, the State Board of Education (SBOE) and Superintendent Ybarra approved the AdvancED survey in place of the Panorama Survey, based on concerns raised by school administrators. Page 33 of this Department of Education document outlines the approved survey questions for elementary, middle school, and high school students. Approving the AdvancEd survey in place of the Panorama survey does not change the fact that Idaho Statute is still violated.

As presented, the intent of this survey is gathering student data to publicly identify Idaho’s lowest-performing public schools for support and intervention. Technically this is a survey to gather data on students, but not necessarily for the purposes of placement in the student’s educational record. This particular variable has not been disclosed to the public.

The AdvancED survey does not comply with Idaho Statute Title 33 Chapter 1. Title 33 does not include any type of surveys in which to gather student data, regardless of the survey’s purpose. Data collection on students is strictly for their educational record. This statute has specific student data collection, use, and limitations which the survey violates. Nor does the statute allow for the collection of student information that is not related to their education record by the SBAC online delivery system.

Title 33 Chapter 1-133

1 (b)  “AGGREGATE DATA” MEANS DATA COLLECTED AND/OR REPORTED AT THE GROUP, COHORT OR INSTITUTIONAL LEVEL.

The reported purpose of this survey, that the data collection is intended to be used for incorporation into ESSA compliance plan, then publicly released, exceeds the limitation for only the group, cohort, or institutional level. This data is not being collected for any student educational record or at an institutional level, but for an assessment of schools, which is a separate entity for which the data is collected, and shall not include personally identifiable information. The first 4 questions of the survey ask about demographic information. While this may not be identifiable there is no reason to ask a student for this information, it can easily be provided by the school.

1(i)”PROVISIONAL STUDENT DATA” MEANS NEW STUDENT DATA PROPOSED FOR INCLUSION IN THE DATA SYSTEM.

While this may be used as reasoning for the collection of survey data, it again is separate from any educational record data, the data is being collected for a separate assessment purpose. Is it the intention of the ISBOE to propose that survey data for school performance, using student responses, will be included in the data system?

1(j)”STUDENT DATA” MEANS DATA COLLECTED AND/OR REPORTED AT THE INDIVIDUAL STUDENT LEVEL INCLUDED IN A STUDENT’S EDUCATIONAL RECORD.

The survey could be interpreted as “student data” in that the responses are from individual students, however, as previously mentioned, there has been no clarification if those responses will be included in the student’s educational record. Per the statute, student data includes assessment results, credits earned, grades, demographics, attendance, discipline reports, and other student-related items as part of their educational record. The statute clearly does not include collecting student data via a survey for the purposes of assessing school performance. Will the results of this survey be included in the student’s educational record, which the statute does not support, or is the intent of the data strictly for the purpose of assessing school performance? If only for the purpose of assessing school performance, the statute does not support data collection via a survey for this purpose, data is to be collected only for educational records.

1(j)(ii)(8) STUDENT’S EDUCATIONAL RECORD SHALL NOT INCLUDEANY DATA THAT MEASURES PSYCHOLOGICAL RESOURCES, MINDSET… DISPOSITIONS, SOCIAL SKILLS, ATTITUDES OR INTRAPERSONAL RESOURCES.

The type of student data allowed for collection is defined in 33-133(j)(i). Regardless of whether the survey results will be placed in the student’s record, the student engagement survey appears to violate this section of the statute. The questions are only related to how a student thinks, feels, perceives, behaves, and attitudes. the questions even using those terms. None of these questions give any objective data on a school’s performance.

1(k)”STUDENT EDUCATIONAL RECORD” MEANS ALL INFORMATION DIRECTLY RELATED TO A STUDENT AND RECORDED AND KEPT IN THE DATA SYSTEM….

As currently proposed, the survey is information directly related to a student for recording in an existing data system. However, the purpose of the survey is not related to the student concerning their education status or progress, it is related to a federal ESSA requirement.

According to the statute, this type of data collection for a student’s record is not listed under 1(j). The statute also does not state this type of data collection can be obtained by other methods such as a survey of other means even though not intended for a student’s record.

Overall, there is serious concern that this proposed data collection, which will be collected and stored in an existing student data system will become part of the student’s record. As such, it is a violation of Idaho statute.

3 THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION SHALL:

(a)  …MAKE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE A DATA INVENTORY AND DICTIONARY OR INDEX OF DATA ELEMENTS WITH DEFINITIONS OF INDIVIDUAL STUDENT DATA FIELDS CURRENTLY IN THE STUDENT DATA SYSTEM INCLUDING:

(i)  ANY INDIVIDUAL STUDENT DATA REQUIRED TO BE REPORTED BY STATE AND FEDERAL EDUCATION MANDATES

II)  ANY INDIVIDUAL STUDENT DATA THAT HAS BEEN PROPOSED FOR INCLUSION IN THE STUDENT DATA SYSTEM WITH A STATEMENT REGARDING THE PURPOSE OR REASON FOR THE PROPOSED COLLECTION;

It appears that the proposed survey might fall under this category being a federal education mandate for data regarding school performance. Under (a)(i) is it the intent of the IBOE to include the survey results in the existing data system? If so, the survey violates section 1(k) for the type of data being gathered. The stated reason for the survey is the federal mandate on school performance, not student data, and the survey should not be included under this section.

3(b)(i) ACCESS TO STUDENT DATA IN THE STUDENT DATA SYSTEM SHALL BE RESTRICTED:

3(b)(vi) ENSURE THAT…ONLINE SERVICES…WITH PRIVATE VENDORS SHALL INCLUDE…A PROVISION THAT PRIVATE VENDORS ARE PERMITTED TO USE AGGREGATED DATA…ONLY IF THE VENDOR DISCLOSES IN CLEAR DETAIL THE SECONDARY USES AND RECEIVES WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE STUDENT’S PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN.

3(c)  UNLESS OTHERWISE APPROVED BY THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, ANY DATA DEEMED CONFIDENTIAL PURSUANT TO THIS ACT SHALL NOT BE TRANSFERRED TO ANY FEDERAL…ENTITY OUTSIDE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO…WITH EXCEPTIONS.

What agreements, if any, have been made with the survey vendor regarding access to the survey results? Has an agreement with the SBAC vendor been created regarding the use of this data? Or is access restricted to both vendors? Does an interagency agreement exist between the state and federal government for sharing results from the survey? Does the IDBOE anticipate bringing such agreements to the senate and house education committees prior to implementation of any survey as the statute requires(3(b)(i)? What provisions have been made to ensure parental or guardian permission is obtained?

None of the exceptions under 3(c)include student data for the purposes of evaluating school performance.

3(g) NOTIFY THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE ANNUALLY OF THE FOLLOWING:

(i)  NEW STUDENT DATA PROPOSED FOR INCLUSION IN THE STATE STUDENT DATA SYSTEM:

Is it the intent of the IBOE to present this proposed survey data for inclusion in the student data system to the legislature for approval prior to the anticipated April 2 start date? And if that is the case, how will the statute be modified for the inclusion of psychological data which the survey captures?

This currently proposed student engagement survey is not a valid or reliable survey and has no relation to the performance of a school.

It might behoove the IBOE to consider using statistical data, rather than an intrusive survey, to satisfy the ESSA requirements for school performance such as absentee rates, number of safety incidents, number of students reporting feelings of anxiety or distress to teachers or school counselor, teacher reports on the number of students in each class who are not participating or turning homework in, complaints received on teachers, and how many students are engaged in some type of extracurricular activity, credits that have been recovered or accrued, all of which are outlined in the Draft Accountability Framework on the IBOE website.

In other words, the student engagement statistics can be obtained without giving students a survey that violates Idaho statue.

Thank you,

Concerned Citizens of Idaho