What's your religion? Your sexual orientation? Your parents' political affiliation? Should "assault rifles" be banned? Who's to blame for the government shutdown?
Do these sound like questions that high school sophomores should have to answer?
A Maryland high school that is "Common Core" compliant -- as described to TheBlaze by a representative -- allegedly administered a survey to its sophomore class that pried for personal information in a way that was apparently so invasive and intrusive that two parents contacted TheBlaze to show it to us.
When TheBlaze asked the Montgomery County School District about the survey, at first officials denied its existence. When we presented parents' claims that the survey was indeed posted on the school's education web portal and that it was given to students without the ability to opt out, an official with the school district denied those claims too. However, in less than an hour, it was scrubbed from the Internet.
Eventually Dana Tofig, the school district's public information officer, acknowledged the survey's existence and confirmed that it had been removed. He did, however, insist that students weren't required to take it and that it was actually a volunteer project put together by students, not teachers. Parents insist the survey was an assignment put together by teachers, but some student input was also allowed.
What kind of survey questions could be so disturbing as to cause parents, who have asked to remain anonymous, to contact TheBlaze? Here is just one example. (Please know that the survey contained grammar and spelling errors that we have not corrected.)
If President Obama were caucasian how much more or less criticism do you think he would he recieve? (sic)
The sophomores at Poolesville High School were allegedly told that the survey was part of a lesson about polls and demographics. Instructors assured students that they were taking an anonymous survey -- although, the sophomores in at least one classroom were told to log into their Edline accounts, the parents claim. Edline is an online education support system for parents, students and teachers.
Once logged in using their online names and passwords, students filled out the multiple choice questionnaire, according to the parents.
The parents say the survey wanted to know some pretty sensitive information about students and their families. Among the topics were race, religion, sexual orientation, living situation (one parent, two parents, single parent, etc.), parents' political affiliations, thoughts/feelings on Obamacare, and who is to blame for the government shutdown.
As mentioned above, when we first saw the survey, TheBlaze contacted the office of the Montgomery County School District, the largest school district in Maryland and the 17th largest in the nation. Just after 6pm on Monday, Tofig saw the survey and sent the following response:
This is not a survey that Montgomery County Public Schools distributed. I am trying to find out if this was distributed in our schools and by whom. But this was not distributed by the staff of MCPS.
We again contacted Mr. Tofig, insisting that the survey appeared to be distributed through the district's online Edline system. He responded via email, saying "If it was on our website, please send a url. I don't see anything like that."
One of the parents who was not pleased about the survey happened to be checking the Edline system on Monday evening, shortly after we contacted the school, and noticed that it had disappeared.
In another coincidence, Monday night, the Montgomery County School district was holding a Town Hall meeting. It was reportedly part of the "Community Day with Superintendent Starr" program. Superintendent Joshua Starr, PhD, was speaking to parents and taking questions from 7:30-9pm at Clarksburg High School.
A parent who contacted TheBlaze was in the audience at the town hall event, and reportedly read a few of the questions aloud. As the objectionable questions were heard, parents in the room reportedly gasped when learning about questions relating to "parents political identification" and Obamacare.
According to one of our sources, who was at the town hall meeting on Monday, the superintendent's only response was, "We had already heard about it...something we don't know about." Superintendent Starr then reportedly moved on to another question. TheBlaze has made repeated requests for a copy of the video from the meeting.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 10/16/2013
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