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Challenging the Profile of Learning
Minnesota State Assessments & the NAEP

September 6, 2002

Question: What do the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs), administered to all Minnesota public school students in the 3rd, 5th, 10th and 11th grades, have in common with the federal government test called the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)?

Answer: Both assessments measure and enforce state progress toward putting the new federal curriculum in place in our schools.

The new federal curriculum teaches diversity training, radical environmentalism, redistribution of wealth philosophy, permissive sex education/drug education/anti-violence education/anti-smoking education, political activism, and collaborative learning. Furthermore, it undermines our founding principles of individual rights, creates the one-world government citizen, mandates community service, mandates on-the-job-off campus training, and mandates community programs. These are the attitudes, values and beliefs that are measured in the MCAs and the NAEP.

MINNESOTA COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENTS (MCAS)

The purpose of the MCAs is to track how successfully the Profile is being embedded into the curriculum and how well its standards are being reflected in student outcomes. Rewards and sanctions for teachers, schools and districts are tied to MCA performance. The MCAs are the primary enforcement method that drive the Profile curriculum in every school and in every classroom. They are administered to all students in public schools.

The MCAs are presently administered in 3rd, 5th, 10th and 11th grades. Under the new No Child Left Behind law, the test must be expanded to include annual MCAs in every grade. Teachers and schools are pre-occupied with testing that replaces teaching time and does nothing to advance the needs of the individual student.

The MCAs were built on the NAEP, the federal test. They were also built on SCANS, the federal work skills. That is why they are a reflection of the federal curriculum and the School-to-Work system.

Students are not required to take the MCAs to graduate from school. Unlike the Basic Skills Tests, parents may opt their children out of the assessments. Schools are required by law to administer the MCAs, but the law does not require student to take them.

NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS (NAEP)

The purpose of the NAEP is to track the states in their implementation of the federal curriculum. No Child Left Behind was passed into federal law, all states are required to administer the NAEP in order to receive federal education money. The NAEP "verifies" the state assessment, the MCAs.

Two-thirds of the NAEP questions involve personal, family and classroom information and habits. Of the remaining third, many of the questions measure students' personal opinions and assess viewpoints that many would disagree with or find objectionable. Only a few questions measure genuine academic knowledge. NAEP questions are not available for the public to scrutinize, critique or publicly discuss. The new No Child Left Behind law made public review of the NAEP questions a felony offense. In this way, specific content of the NAEP remains shrouded in secrecy.

The NAEP is not administered to all students. It is given to a scientific sampling of students in every state. Both public and non-public schools are involved in the NAEP.

Students are not required to take the NAEP. As a result of public objection to the NAEP, parents must now be informed that their child has been chosen to take the test, and they may refuse to allow their child to participate. Scientific sampling is a highly accurate measure of the status of the federal curriculum. When students refuse to take the NAEP, however, its accuracy and usefulness are undermined.

REFUSING TO TAKE THE ASSESSMENTS

The MCAs and the NAEP are the enforcement tools for the new federal curriculum. Many people from around the country are refusing to allow their children to take the state and federal assessments. By opting their children out of the assessments, they are undermining the enforcement of the new federal curriculum, making it difficult to track its progress.

Resistance is gaining ground among families and teachers as they begin to understand that the testing mania is a key mechanism for enforcing the Profile of Learning. In one school district, fully a third of the students were kept home on test day. In some states, major portions of classes don't show up.

Implementation of the new federal government education system relies upon voluntary compliance. As the credibility of the NAEP and its aligned state assessments is eroded, enforcement of its mandates becomes difficult. As parent and teacher resistance grows, state resistance will grow, as well.

Private schools are not required to participate in the NAEP. If your students are enrolled in private schools, you may urge your school administrators to refuse to administer the NAEP. To help them understand what kind of curriculum is being enforced through the NAEP, give them a copy of MREdCo's newest book, Fed Ed: The New Federal Curriculum and How It's Enforced.

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