- Fellow Editors
Maryland Schools Survey Students to Discover Their Feelings
Schools across Maryland are conducting a survey called the Maryland School Survey, which cannot be any more ambiguous by its title. What is this survey exactly? The local school and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) doesn't want you to know the questions they're asking your child. The questions contained in the survey are secret and administered by computer.
When an inquiry was made to the Wicomico County Board of Education to review this survey, this was their response:
State law requires that all schools in Maryland survey students and staff about school climate. Per MSDE communications, the school survey questions will not be disclosed or discussed. The survey will never ask a personal question about a staff member or student and the actual survey responses will not be available to the school, LSS, or MSDE.
The survey design will focus on four domains: Environment, Engagement, Relationships, and Safety. All students in grade 5-11 must be provided an opportunity to take the survey. No questions on the survey are covered by the 8 areas in PPRA.
The schoolboard was then contacted, and the parent received no cooperation to the simple question: What are the exact questions that will be asked on this survey? They refused to answer.
Next stop was the MSDE, and this was the response:
Thank you for reaching out regarding the Maryland School Survey. The actual questions from the Maryland School Survey are not released, but you can see the main categories and sample questions used as a model at the following site. https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/school-climate-survey-item-bank
The Maryland School Survey for students will measure four domains: safety, environment, engagement, and relationships. Each domain looks at topics and together the domains and topics will provide valuable information about each school’s learning environment.
The safety domain asks students if they feel safe (physical and emotional), bullying, and controlled-substance abuse.
The environmental domain asks students about their instructional and physical environment, if school rules are clear and fair, and if good behavior is supported and rewarded.
The community domain asks students if they are treated equally and they have the opportunity to participate in all school activities, including those that occur outside of the regular school day.
The relationships domain asks students about the nature of teacher-student and student-student relationships and if their school has a culture of caring and respect.
Student and instructor responses are not maintained by the MSDE after the administration and compilation of survey results. Local school system staff will not have access to student or instructor responses.
Their response may look innocent and accommodating, but it's not. It's highly deceptive, and the actual question remains unanswered: What are the exact questions that will be asked on this survey? Not only did the MSDE refuse to provide the answers, they dodged the question and attempted to use decoy sample questions from other states. In addition, the explanation ends with the fact that they are using a third party to gather, compile, and store the survey results, which they won't disclose the contracted stranger that has your child's data.
Based on what we discovered, this is a Social Emotional Wellness Survey designed to discover your child's personal feelings, beliefs, perceptions, behaviors, and how they view and interact with others. This survey conflicts with the federal PPRA (Pupil Protection Rights Act) based on what we do know.
What is the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)?
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) applies to the programs and activities of a state education agency (SEA), local education agency (LEA), or other recipient of funds under any program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. It governs the administration to students of a survey, analysis, or evaluation that concerns one or more of the following eight protected areas:
political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent;
mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;
sex behavior or attitudes;
illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parent; or
income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).
PPRA also concerns marketing surveys and other areas of student privacy, parental access to information, and the administration of certain physical examinations to minors. The rights under PPRA transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under state law. https://studentprivacy.ed.gov/faq/what-protection-pupil-rights-amendment-ppra
As a result of their failure to provide this information, the state of Maryland is up to no good from the top down. Local schoolboards and officials that let an agency come into our schools (without question), and allowing our children to be mentally surveyed by an unknown third party is unconscionable. This is an obvious demonstration of government overreach and abuse.
Government continually works to obstruct parent involvement in education, and has specifically designed its system to replace the parent with the nanny state. What can you do? As a parent, you can opt-out your child from taking any surveys conducted at your child's school. You can also instruct your child not to take the survey if that's what you choose as a parent.
Fellows & Editors
March 24, 2022 Copyright DelmarvaPTC.org 2022
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