This installment of WCPSS updates includes more the “BIMAS-2,” a pseudo-psychological assessment the district is experimenting with on students in 40 schools over the next year.
Also, MVP Math has dropped its lawsuit and a student from Wake’s prized magnet school is arrested on robbery and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
#1 – The BIMAS-2 is a violation of student privacy and an affront to parental rights
If you are just hearing about the BIMAS-2, a “social, emotional and behavioral universal assessment” being used in 8 schools this year and 40 overall in the 2019-20 school year, you can catch up here and here.
The district is calling it a “behavioral assessment” whereby a teacher has to recall a student’s behavior over the course of a week and rate them on 34 criteria using their “best guess.” In reality, it is a hammer looking for nails; a blunt psychological data pull created to track kids for the purpose of identifying and labeling them as to whether or not they pose a threat or issue.
The district has yet to say how this data is being stored, used or who has access to it. Nor have they responded to my records request yet asking how much it cost, who is in charge of it and how it was communicated to school leaders.
The district has not released the names of the schools, so it is still unknown which schools the BIMAS-2 is rolled out right now. Only two schools are known for sure: Holly Ridge Middle and Green Hope High. If parents want to know if your school is one of them, I highly recommend reaching out to your school’s principal to find out.
Also, the deadline of October 30 to opt-out has passed for Holly Ridge Middle and Green Hope High. I can only assume the other 6 actively planning to use the BIMAS-2 before 2020 have the same deadline. Again, call your schools.
I spoke to News and Observer reporter Keung Hui about the BIMAS-2 being used on Wake County students, many of which likely without their parents even knowing.
Here are the relevant excerpts:
Holly Ridge will conduct its survey on Friday, so parents have until Wednesday to opt their children out. Letters were sent home with students to give to their parents about the survey.
A.P. Dillon, a conservative blogger and parent at Holly Ridge Middle, complained on her blog and on Twitter that the survey is an invasion of students’ privacy. She said Wake should have required parents to opt-in, instead of opting-out of the survey.
“These are minor children, and the district has no business evaluating them medically or psychologically without the express written permission of their parents or legal guardians,” Dillon said in an interview.
Koh said they wanted to get the survey in front of as many students as possible to provide the right support for them. He said the survey will allow the district to “get an accurate temperature of a school.”
“This is a standardized tool so we that can accurately find out what our student needs are so we’re not just guessing on a feeling,” Koh said.
But Dillon said the survey calls on teachers to rate students on subjective criteria that can be viewed as psychological in nature. Simmons said it’s a tool for screening behavioral health and is not a mental health assessment.
Some parents complained about how Wake has handled the notification process. They said they never received an opt-out letter.
The district did not give the News and Observer the list of schools either.
I’m of the mind that invasive and subjective “assessments” like this one should be opt-in and not opt-out. The opt-out method means far more students can be caught up in what is essentially a data collection dragnet.
The next WCPSS board meeting is November 5 at 5:30 pm. The location is Crossroads I – Board Room at 5625 Dillard Drive in Cary.
Parents wishing to speak out about the BIMAS-2 need to sign up to do so starting at noon on Nov. 5.
#2 – MVP drops their lawsuit against Wake County parent
Here’s the message I received from the parent who was being sued for speaking out against MVP Math:
To Local Media: I shared this message to my supporters on Facebook today.
Thanks to all who have supported me and my legal defense fund to date. I have good news to share. Here is a joint statement prepared by MVP’s and my attorney:
======= START OF JOINT STATEMENT ========
Statement Concerning Mathematics Vision Project / Blain Dillard Lawsuit
October 28, 2019 — Mathematics Vision Project (“MVP”) and Blain Dillard today announced dismissal of the litigation between them. The parties have agreed that MVP will dismiss its Complaint against Mr. Dillard and Mr. Dillard will dismiss his Counterclaim against MVP. The lawsuit was pending in the Fourth Judicial District Court in Utah. Resolution of the parties’ dispute involves no restriction or limitation on the ability of either MVP or Mr. Dillard to speak and comment publicly about math curricula and other issues of public concern to the educational community.
======= END OF JOINT STATEMENT ========
While I am allowed to continue to speak and comment publicly about math curricula, I am restricted on commenting about the case and therefore have no further comment about it.
I would ask for your continued support of the GoFundMe campaign, which will go directly towards my outstanding legal fees.
#3 – 16-year-old Enloe Magnet High student held in shooting, robbery attempt
Last week, an Enloe High student was arrested for a shooting and robbery at a BP gas station on New Bern Ave.
“Anselmo Inocente Arroyo-Maldanado, 16, of 643 Sunnybrook Road, has been charged with felony attempted robbery with dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, according to a warrant.
He used a semi-automatic gun during the incident, according to the warrant.” (WRAL)
WRAL says it hasn’t been determined if Arroyo-Maldanado and the victim knew each other, but shooting “prompted administrators at Enloe High, about a half-mile away, to declare a Code Red lockdown.”