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Missouri Coalition Against Common Core

                           Working to regain local control of education in Missouri.

SBAC Tests Do Not Meet NCLB Requirements

Statewide test scores that ESEA requires must be obtained from valid and reliable assessments (see bold font below)

NCLB Part A — Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies

Subpart 1 — Basic Program Requirements


(A) IN GENERAL- Each State plan shall demonstrate that the State educational agency, in consultation with local educational agencies, has implemented a set of high-quality, yearly student academic assessments that include, at a minimum, academic assessments in mathematics, reading or language arts, and science that will be used as the primary means of determining the yearly performance of the State and of each local educational agency and school in the State in enabling all children to meet the State's challenging student academic achievement standards, except that no State shall be required to meet the requirements of this part relating to science assessments until the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year.

(B) USE OF ASSESSMENTS- Each State educational agency may incorporate the data from the assessments under this paragraph into a State-developed longitudinal data system that links student test scores, length of enrollment, and graduation records over time.

(C) REQUIREMENTS- Such assessments shall--

(i) be the same academic assessments used to measure the achievement of all children;

(ii) be aligned with the State's challenging academic content and student academic achievement standards, and provide coherent information about student attainment of such standards;

(iii) be used for purposes for which such assessments are valid and reliable, and be consistent with relevant, nationally recognized professional and technical standards;

SBAC does not meet that criterion of having validity and reliability as indicated on this memo from SBAC shared with state education leadership.

The important text excerpts in the memo are on the back of the pdf page:

• Establishment of internal validity [16], or the degree to which the test functions as required, has sufficient reliability, and sufficient ability to measure the intended content and not unintended content. Internal validity was investigated using Pilot Test results to determine whether or not a given content area test (ELA/literacy or mathematics) measured the intended construct and not unintended constructs. Essentially, this is an investigation as to whether or not the test is measuring primarily one construct (i.e., if it is uni-dimensional). As indicated in the attached dimensionality paper, the evidence strongly suggests that the Smarter Balanced ELA/literacy and mathematics test are uni-dimensional. Test reliability will initially be modeled through simulations using the item pool after item review, which is due to be completed December 31, 2014. Operational test reliability will be reported in the technical manual following the first operational administration in spring 2015. [in other words, test items and the test as a whole should have reliability data BEFORE it is administered. This sentence says that as of this date, the data are not available.]

Evaluation Phase:

Once the Smarter Balanced assessments are administered operationally in spring 2015, it will be possible to determine “external validity,” which is the degree to which test results correspond to external indicators (consistent with expectations) [4]. For example, students who perform well on the summative test are expected to perform well in the classroom. These external research studies are listed in the attached Validation Worksheet document [19] (see the checkmark under column F for applicable activities). The information in this table shows the main validity activities established through the Smarter Balanced Validity Framework and the associated sources of evidence, past, present, and future. Because this type of evidence continues to be gathered through the operational administration of the assessments, this table mostly reflects future plans for external validity research.

Furthermore, the administration of the SBAC as a fixed form test is not the administration procedure used in the pilot and field testing -- meaning the test will be obviously flawed and scores basically worthless if administration attempts to use 2015 scores as "standardized" test scores.

The above information means that as of this 2015 testing, SBAC does not meet NCLB requirements and, therefore, DESE and the U.S. Dept of ED's insistence on participation is SBAC will not meet the requirements of the federal law it is intended to fulfill.

Opting out of SBAC is the morally right thing for a parent to do if the state and district administrators won't or believe they can't behave in a morally, ethical, and professional manner to protect our children.

Judge Grants Summary Judgement in SBAC Lawsuit

Columbia MO, February 24, 2015

Judge Green of the Circuit Court of Cole County has just granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs (Fred Sauer, Gretchen Logue, Anne Gassel) on our claim that Missouri’s membership fees to Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia are unlawful under the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Judge Green's decision said SBAC "is an unlawful interstate compact to which the U.S. Congress has never consented, whose existence and operation violate the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, § 10, cl. 3, as well as numerous federal statutes; and that Missouri’s participation in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium as a member is unlawful under state and federal law."

Judge Green has permanently enjoined the State of Missouri from making payments in the form of membership fees to Smarter Balanced. We can no longer be a member of SBAC.

UPDATE: October 15, 2015 Oral Arguments will be heard by the appeals court on the state's appeal of this ruling. During the appeals process the injunction against making membership payments will remain in effect.

Several other states are now exploring the possibility of bringing similar suits against both SBAC and PARCC.

Testing Madness

If you really want to understand how we are being scammed with standardized testing, you need to check out this fabulously written piece by the Coalition to Protect Our Public Schools.

By reading it you will:

  • Understand why 67% of our kids predictably fail the SBAC. (see the chart to the right.)
  • Understand why standardized tests will NEVER tell us who is college and career ready.
  • Understand why college programs to "reduce remediation rates" will actually hurt children.

Don't fall for the deception. We don't need to spend the money or the time on these tests.

*This list is by no means exhaustive and only includes districts where parents have taken the time to let us know they have refused the test. If you have refused, please take a moment to fill out this brief form. I Refused

You Are Not Alone In Refusing The Test

This interactive map is being updated daily at United Opt Out. States like New York have had over 250,000 students opt out of the standardized test. Some schools had rates of over 80% refusal.

Help them keep their map up to date for Missouri and go to their page to put your own pin on the map.

Middle school students poised to quit standardized tests in droves

By Daniel Denvir

Published: 01/21/2015

Parents of 17 percent of all students at Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences have opted their children out of controversial standardized tests, according to a statement from teacher and parent activists. In recent years, tests like the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) have played an increasingly larger role in judging not only student academic achievement but also whether individual teachers and entire schools have made the grade — or are deemed failures.

"It makes the children very nervous and it doesn't assess their intellectual ability," says Heidey Contrera, the mother of 8th grader Natalie Contrera. Her daughter is still working to master the English language after moving from the Dominican Republic in 2011. "She is nervous and restless, and gets a little depressed studying for the exams. Because she thought she wasn't prepared."

Read full article here

Time to end creativity-crushing, invalid standardized testing.

Welcome to the “Stop High‐Stakes Testing” Movement

Our Testing is Illegal “Endorsement” – admits Arne Duncan, U.S. Education Chief 11/13/2014

(for the full report and to access the noted citations, please go to

We will not endorse or sanction any specific curricula ‐‐ the Department is in fact appropriately prohibited by law from endorsing or sanctioning curricula.” (01) Secretary Duncan, April 9, 2010, The Well Rounded Curriculum speech. (1a, 1b) But this is exactly what they‘re doing.(1c‐j) The Clinton‐Bush‐Obama era of authoritarian, nationalized math and English standards is an illegal, failed promise.(2.1) The stakes are too high to blindly trust their negligent big gov we‐know‐best “reforms” (A1,2). Welcome to non‐partisan “test reform” and the “Stop High‐Stakes Testing” Movement (A8).

Their Big‐Gov Disablingly Separate, Unequal and Denied Education “Ed” Policies

The 1964 Civil Rights Act, Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in ‘65, and U.S. Ed Dept est 1979 was to protect K‐12 equal access. 01 , 02 Bush ESEA 2002 renewal added standardized “high‐stakes” testing** No Child Left Behind (NCLB). They promised equal opportunity to every public and charter student but endorsed (required) equal access only to math and English.** Their resultant sanctioning (denial) of “whole‐student” curricula starting with music and arts causes disablingly separate, unequal and denied‐access education.*** 03 , 06 “At first they came for my neighbor’s kid, but then they came for mine”.

Their Big‐Gov Blind‐Trust Testing Bubble

Their Blind‐Trust Testing Bubble continues relentlessly in American education. Yet, China and other countries are fundamentally and methodically replacing their own big‐gov standardized testing with whole‐student education that emphasizes “the individual” over The Test.*** 04 Test leader Shanghai is expected to pull out of world competition. 04.L

Their Big‐Gov Illegal Federal agenda of Math and English National, Standardized Testing

President Obama and Secretary Duncan continue NCLB and their signature higher‐stakes “Race to the Top” federal agenda and contest, renamed “Race to the Bottom” by educators. This includes “Duncan Waivers” and newest “Equity

and Opportunity” scheme, as well as their illegally funded and puppeteered Common Core “State?” Standards. 5.1

Their Big‐Gov Standardization of Young Minds

An endless theft from whole‐student education, their false‐promise Common Core con job is said to be the “next‐generation” of “game‐changer” testing that will provide “readiness”. But negligently conceived and designed, it doesn’t really prepare young minds for success in college and careers, or independent, critical and creative thinking, as it deepens test‐and‐punish “rigor”. No two kids are alike, yet all are being “standardized” and “zombie‐ized”(A1, A3). 5.2 , 03

Their Big‐Gov High‐Stakes and Excessive Standardized‐Testing Cancer

A student asked, “will there be anything we will need to remember after the test”? NCLB and Common Core endorse‐ but‐sanction high stakes and excessive standardized‐testing cancer kills the love to learn and teach as it undermines

common sense and countless futures. States rejecting the Core must also ban their own high stakes in all forms. 5.2, 0

The High‐Stakes Education Rule and “invisible” Socio‐Academically Disadvantaged

Beware of The High‐Stakes Education Rule: What is tested with high‐stakes standardized accountability gets taught; what is not tested gets unequal or denied access.†6b The K‐12 student of socio‐academic advantage [high(er) test score] gets unequal access to whole‐student curricula or can outsource to learn, while the “invisible” disadvantaged student [low(er) test score] learns to grow up with disablingly narrow, separate and denied‐access education (A4). ††

Our Music and Arts are quietly Being Replaced

Even music and arts Title I low‐income fed funding is quietly being replaced in local schools by federal and state math and English high‐stakes “accountability” pressures, particularly for low(er) test results. (A1,5,6). 06 Students needing it the most are left out, their opportunities lost, perhaps forever.

** Their Big‐Gov Betrayal of Promises

Betrayal of promises to teachers, students and America (07) makes equal‐access learning impossible as long as test scores help determine teacher jobs and student futures (A7). Intimidated teachers and administrators face conflicts‐of‐interest daily between the balancing of individual whole‐student development versus disabling high‐stakes standardization. ††

Their Big‐Gov LEARNING DISADVANTAGE GAP (attachment A4)

Previous administrations’ negligence gave birth to The LEARNING DISADVANTAGE GAP, which metastasized into an even‐more invasive socio‐academic cancer, today (A4). Teachers and young students are pressured and punished into the high‐stakes “no‐excuses” blame game of inappropriate “accountability”.08 “So, I am 110 percent behind our teachers. (Applause.) But all I’m asking in some measure of accountability. [high‐stakes testing](Applause)...If we’re not seeing results in the classroom, then let’s help them become more effective. [higher math and English test scores] If that doesn’t work, let’s find the right teacher for that classroom.” [teach to the test or terminate](Applause.) –from National Urban League speech by Pres. Obama, July 29, 2010.

Welcome to the “Stop High‐Stakes Testing” Movement [Paragraph 1]

Their Illegal State Endorsements of Socio‐Academic Discrimination (A4)

Their illegal Big‐Gov endorsement forces states into equally‐illegal complicity. States also have a constitutional duty to ensure that all students receive “basic equality of educational opportunity” ̶ Butt v. California, Ca Supreme Crt, 1992. 09h. As it is illegal for the feds to endorse or sanction subjects, it is equally so for states to accept federal funds when doing the same, such as Common Core or alternative testing, Race to the Top, and of course, No Child Left Behind. “The Constitution does not protect the sovereignty of States for the benefit of the States or State government, but [instead] for the protection of individuals.” ̶ New York v. United States, U.S. Supreme Crt, 1992. 09f Selective sanctioning of whole‐student education 06b is disproportionately disabling to the youngest and academically disadvantaged (A4).† “Individual rights do not stop at the school‐house gate” ̶ Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, U.S. Supreme Court, 1969. Along with low family income, their high‐stakes and excessive standardized testing causes socio‐academic discrimination from selectively denied‐access to whole‐student curricula as well as testing abuse, rank‐and‐label profiling, negative stereotyping and segregation.†† “It is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms” ̶ Brown v. B.o.E., Chief Justice Warren, U.S. Supreme Crt, 1954. 09, 09c, 01

Challenge Their Big‐Gov Negligence Rule and Our Blind‐Trust Complacency

Be aware also of their Big‐Gov Negligence Rule: Trust and grade us by our promises, not our performance (A7).†††10 Negligence from “leading” political parties, lawmakers, civil‐rights groups, media and corruptive “big‐money” has failed students, parents, teachers and America. (11) To help the “Stop High‐Stakes Testing” Movement, start by sharing far‐and‐wide this Call to Action: “We’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore”. See “what‐to‐do tips” (A8) and ref links. (12)

Our blind‐trust complacency has allowed for the rise of their testing abuse and anti‐democratic arrogance, authoritarianism, harmful negligence and false‐promise Blind‐Trust Testing Bubble.(††)†

At first they came for my neighbor’s kid, but then they came for mine.” ―John Charles Thompson, 2014 adaptation from M. Niemöller, 1946

See more at

© 2010‐14 Parents and Students for Music and Arts. All Rights Reserved. Contents may be reproduced with appropriate credits.

MCACC Review of SBAC Tests Shows No External Validity or Reliability

An explosive report "Issues and Recommendation for Resolution of the General Assembly Regarding Validity and Reliability of the Smarter Balanced Assessments Scheduled for Missouri in Spring 2015″ authored by Dr. Mary Byrne,of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core, in consultation with other teachers and a test development expert, shows that the SBAC test Missouri schools are poised to give this spring has no external validity or reliability. In laymen terms this means that the test developers have no corroborating outside confirmation to prove that their test questions measure what they claim to measure or can produce consistent results in repeated administrations. All they have is their own claim of validity and a plan to develop this external validity some time in the future. This means that no meaningful conclusions can be drawn from student scores on this exam. Despite the fact that SBAC piloted both the test items AND the delivery system simultaneously, making determination of why a student may have missed an answer extremely difficult to tease out, SBAC went ahead and set cut scores from data collected during the pilot tests given last spring. Further, by design, those cut scores have been set so that 62% of the children will score below proficient according to an EdWeek article.

See more highlights from this report at

According to HB1490, which in turn cited previous Missouri statute, the legislature has 60 legislative days to veto the implementation of the test. That clock began ticking on January 7th when the legislature opened the 2015 session. The report contains a recommended resolution that both chambers can pass to stop the pointless implementation of a test that is illegal by Missouri statute and will provide no meaningful results.

"The following recommendations for a resolution to veto implementation of the SBAC in Missouri and investigate decisions made by the commissioner of education and state board of education to implement the SBAC without assurance of its technical adequacy are made on the grounds that state education leaders did not exercise due diligence in the adoption of membership in SBAC prior to reviewing evidence of assessment validity and reliability; and on their insistence that school districts administer SBAC to evaluate teachers, as well as, earn points toward accreditation in MSIP5, without assuring districts of SBAC assessments’ legal defensibility:

  1. Legislative leadership should, within the number of legislative days allowed by HB 1490, support a resolution in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to stop implementation of the Smarter Balanced Assessments in Missouri and withdraw Missouri from SBAC as per Missouri’s original memorandum of understanding with SBAC;
  2. The resolution should also request an independent review of technical adequacy by a testing expert having experience in development and evaluation of nationally used, standardized tests, and is not associated with the SBAC or PARCC consortia, state or federal departments of education, or testing companies that contract with any of the aforementioned entities for the purpose of detecting fraud;
  3. The resolution should request a thorough investigation of appropriate uses of statewide standardized tests in Missouri (for example, whether student growth models relying on standardized test results, as required by the U.S. DoE’s No Child Left Behind Waiver Renewal application, are appropriate) for the purpose of challenging the conditions of the ESEA waiver offered by the U.S. DoE;
  4. The resolution should request an immediat e audit of the DESE and State Board of Education to determine why the a contract with McGraw-Hill was negotiated when the Attorney General was suing McGraw-Hill.

Encourage your state rep and senator to read this report and support these resolutions!

A well researched list of articles by education reformers compiled by John Charles “Johnny” Thompson.Click on the link above to access all the article links.

“Most of these reform terms, slogans and clichés are routinely and relentlessly used to intimidate and “oversell” test-score measurements that promise college 'readiness' and careers primarily by aggressively promoting and administering government funded or otherwise influenced 'high-stakes' standardized testing. Note the term high-stakes is never mentioned in their ed doctrine but it is the one term that underpins most of their marketing and bullying tactics often with confusing and misleading jargon:


Academic Achievement or Performance (Standards)

Accelerated Programs

Achievement Gap


Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)- NCLB


Below Grade Level


College And Career Ready (or Success)

Charter School Innovation

Colorblind Era

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

Core-Academic Subjects

Core Knowledge

[In]Effective Support

[In]Effective Teachers

Data Analysis

Data Driven Evaluation (Or Implementation)

Data Walls


Empowered Parents

Enhanced Data Systems

Enhanced Standards

Enrichment Programs


Equity And Opportunity

Evaluation Metrics

Evidence Based


Failing Schools

Global Competition

Global Standards

Great Students

Great Teachers

High Expectations (Culture Of)

High Performing

High(er) Bar

Highly Qualified Teachers

High Quality (Assessments)

Honors Program



Low Performing



Merit Pay


Next-Generation Testing

No Child Left Behind (NCLB)

No Excuse(S)


Outcome Driven

Outcomes And Success


Parent Trigger

Pass Grade


Performance-Based Standards



Post Racial






Race To The Top (RTTT)

Raising Expectations

Raising The Bar

Raising The Stakes


Reform (Experts)


Research Based


Rigorous Standards

School Choice

Scientifically-Based Standards (Or Research)

Score Well

Smarter-Balanced Testing

Standards And Accountability Movement

Standards Based

Student Achievement, Grit, Growth, Outcomes, Success

Teacher Effectiveness, Evaluation (System) Quality And Success

“Teach For America”

Test Driven

Test Ready



Title I

Turnaround School


VAM (Value-Added Measurements Or Methods)



World-Class Education

At least one of these reform terms and slogans appear in nearly all of the 300+ links."

Tell us about problems you saw with spring 2015 SBAC testing

We heard almost nothing from DESE at the end of the pilot tests last spring even though there were numerous problems in piloting districts. We didn't even see the scores that resulted from those tests. The scores would only be useful as a relative baseline upon which to compare future tests. They were, by SBAC's own admission, meaningless as a measure of student performance on the tests since they piloted both the delivery system and the items simultaneously.

The state rolled out the latest version of the test, a fixed form, not computer adaptive as last year's was, with little comment on its readiness. The field reports so far indicate it may have as many problems as last year's pilot, only this time every district in the state can experience those problems, not just a select few pilot districts.

We have gotten phone calls from concerned teachers who have seen the problems with the test:

  • Inability to log in to the system.
  • Requirement for children to have a separate password for each section of the test (which is very confusing for 3rd graders) leading to trouble logging in.
  • Test Crashes
  • Non-functioning supports like audio that should be reading a section of text that doesn’t work
  • Non user-friendly on-screen “tools” that students can’t find or figure out to use to answer items despite practice with such tools before the actual test.
  • Delayed response times to student input causing them to retype their answer or second guess their answer because it looks like the system didn’t accept it.
  • The inability to enter the correct answer
  • Confusing instructions from DESE as to what “untimed” means (e.g. can students who run out of time be allowed to log on the next day to continue taking the test?)
  • Lack of available computers because the “untimed” nature of the test means that some kids are still working on the test beyond the alloted time in a testing room.
  • Lack of computer resources or broadband access to complete actual classroom assignments because testing is taking up both.
  • Overall lack of standardization of test conditions due to these problems.

So that DESE cannot hide these problems again, we would appreciate those who are involved in administering the test sharing their observations of problems. Please use this link to go to our on-line form to provide your input. Responses are anonymous.

Districts where parents are refusing the test*

Blue Springs

Columbia Public Schools

Fort Zumwalt

Francis Howell

Houston R1

Laclede Co. C-5

Lee's Summit

Lincoln County R3

Meramec Valley R3

Savannah School District

School of the Osage, Lake Ozark

Sikeston R6

Troy R3

Wentzville School District