Allow opting out of SBAC exams

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SBAC is a state-mandated assessment of Common Core Initiative academic knowledge.  It assesses students based on Common Core standards, even if the student never learned in a Common Core environment. It is also administered online through a faulty program prone to simple errors that make testing a pain. Finally, a student is only required to take a form of the exam, yet districts make it seem only the online version is allowed. The exam is unpopular, lacks research to prove its value, and takes 8 hours of valuable class time from students. 


In the words of one such concerned student


"I am writing this letter to express my objections, as a student, to taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium's Smarter Balanced test. I feel that the SBAC Test, designed to test a student who has been taught through Common Core from K-12, does not fairly or adequately examine my skills as a student. Common Core was adopted in this state five years ago. That's less than half of my student career, yet the exam is built to test me as if I spent all 11 years learning in the program.

Furthermore, Common Core/SBAC is designed as progressive scoring test, with exams being administered from Grades 3-8, and once again in Grades 10 or 11. This is designed to track student progress, to see if they improve or degrade in quality, and use that data to determine whether a school is successful or unsuccessful. This is fine for determining how a school is fairing, if data is taken from the start to finish(3-11). It is useless; however, to just administer the test in the 11th Grade. Without prior tests, how can SBAC determine if we have improved or not?

SBAC is also administered online, through a so-called "adaptive online exam". After going through a practice session, it appears that this exam is sorely lacking in the adaptive portion of the title. The User Interface for the program is glitchy and unresponsive. The Text Interface was obviously designed for mouse-keyboard input, not for onscreen typing. Common errors included reverting to the top of the page mid sentence, the program lagging behind user input, and a lack of auto-capitalization after each sentence. While keyboards will be given for the exams, no mouses will be given. And while auto-capitalization might be considered cheating, given this

Since media and technology are intertwined with every student's life and in school in the 21st century, skills related to media use, which includes the analysis and production of various forms of media, are also included in these standards.

Is part of the Common Core Standards, it would make sense that auto-capitalization, a key feature in everything from Word Processors to HTML UI's, would be included. Other issues observed included buttons being over or under sensitive to touchscreen interaction, and a general lack of familiarity with the test among practice Test Proctors.

I also feel that the SBAC tests are an unnecessary burden to place on Juniors. The SBAC test occurs immediately after College Board's AP testing ends, with some Juniors coming off as many as 4-7 AP tests right into the SBAC test. Tack onto this burden that of either a May or June SAT/ACT, and you can see how overburdened the Grade 11 Class is. A more appropriate time for testing would be Grade 10, which is perfectly viable and possible.

I have several other objections, but these are the main ones. This letter is primarily to affirm my objection to the exam. "

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