Brave Student Breaches Behavioral Test

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Recently a Utah student took screen shots of a common core statewide test, and it went viral across the Internet. Now the Utah State Office of Education is threatening teachers, students and parents alike.

That student saw a question that she believed was inappropriate on a BEHAVIORAL test. It was her duty to document it and report it, because that’s a violation of state law.

Now the state Office of Education claims it’s a breach of copyright.

Actually, an excerpt of copyrighted material can be used under “fair use” copyright laws without copyright permission, as long as it’s not copied in its entirety. Section 107 of the copyright law identifies limitations and itemizes purposes for which excerpts may be used. It includes for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, education and research.

The Utah State Office of Education may also want to review that Section 107 of the US Copyright law.

I got a call from an attorney once for publishing a portion of a segment of the Doug Wright show on my blog site, and was informed that I had violated copyright law. I took it down temporarily and then called my attorney. He told me I was entirely within my rights to publish that excerpt. So I put it back up.

Something is terribly flawed with this picture that the USOE is behaving like the Gestapo. So here are the screenshots, for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, education and research:

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SAGE TEST Screen Shot
SAGE TEST Screen Shot

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What is a SAGE Test?

SAGE is published by AIR, a behavioral testing company. Behavioral and attitudinal tests and surveys are ILLEGAL to administer in the state of Utah without disclosing to the parents that they are behavioral and attitudinal and not solely academic in the first place. I know. I helped draft that law in 1994 titled the Utah Family and Education Right of Privacy Act. Utah’s FERPA.

While the question itself is not one of the more egregious questions we’ve ever encountered in a government-funded classroom, the screen shots prove that it IS indeed a behavioral/attitudinal test.

What is more egregious is that the school interrogated the student, threatened the student’s career and college entrance, again, without notifying the parents. Second infraction.

This family might consider filing a lawsuit against the USOE, on behalf of Utah’s students, if they haven’t already done so, especially knowing the results are being tracked, with NO privacy.

The principal ought to be fired for assuming his position carried the legal authority over whether that student could take a college entrance exam or not. A haughty bunch they can be, evidence of our having given to them far too much power with little accountability directly to the taxpayers who are funding them.

Moreover, if the Utah State Office of Education is so concerned about breach of test security, wouldn’t its first line of defense be to pull the test entirely, as that security has now been damaged?

In addition, the USOE might swallow its own medicine and follow its own character standards and stop bullying its teachers, parents and students alike.

Here’s one of life’s most important axioms:  If students, parents and teachers act like weaklings on THIS school playground, they will continue to be bullied.

Three cheers for this student and her parents for teaching her to question boldly.