FSCCC Releases Major Paper on the Psychological Manipulation in Common Core and AIR/SBAC Tests

February, 2015

As states and the federal government deal with issues of testing and data privacy, Dr. Karen Effrem, executive director of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition and president of Education Liberty Watch, has just released a major new paper on the psychosocial manipulation within the Common Core Standards and aligned assessments following recent articles on AIR's ties to racial eugenics experiments and the extensive behavioral data collection being done by education technology companies. This paper deals specifically with psychosocial manipulation, indoctrination, profiling, data collection and the potential physical harm to children of online testing and curriculum due to radiation. The full paper with detailed references is available at

"This information underscores the psychological and physical harm of the Common Core system to our children in addition to the academic and developmental damage that we have previously discussed," said Dr. Karen Effrem.

"As a parent of two students in Florida's public schools and someone who has extensively researched the American Institutes for Research and the Florida Standards Assessment contract, I believe that this is information that every parent of a school aged child and policy maker should have," said parent activist and researcher, Suzette Armenteros Lopez.

Below is information from the executive summary.


Dr. Karen Effrem
Office: 888-376-5550

Psychological Manipulation in the Standards as admitted by the US DOE and many national groups, Common Core is about far more than academics:
  • US DOE: "In national policy, there is increasing attention on 21st-century competencies (which encompass a range of noncognitive factors, including grit), and persistence is now part of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics." (Emphasis added.)
  • National Association of State Boards of Education: "Various elements of SEL (social emotional learning) can be found in nearly every state's K-12 standards framework and in the Common Core State Standards for the English Language Arts." (Emphasis added).
  • The American School Counselors Association: "Mindsets & behaviors align with specific standards from the Common Core State Standards through connections at the competency level." (Emphasis added).
Psychological Manipulation and Indoctrination in the Curriculum
  • Springboard English Common Core aligned curriculum, used in 40 Florida school districts requires students to answer survey questions on their views on capitalism vs communism in a chapter called the Marxist Perspective, describing Marx merely as an "economist" and "philosopher."
  • Springboard English also required students to self-rate on the Kohlberg scale of moral reasoning, an overt psychological assessment.  Answers to these types of subjective surveys will be in a student's permanent record, especially as curriculum becomes digital.
  • September 9, 2013 Political Party Activity for middle school students in Indian River County, Florida in English class linked to specific Common Core standards per the teacher's lesson plan.
CCSS: LACC.68.RH.1,2, LACC.68.RH.2.4, LACC.68.WHST.1.2, LACC.7.SL.1.1
Psychological Profiling in the Statewide Assessments - The federally funded, federally supervised national Common Core tests like PARCC and SBAC, the computer adaptive platform for which is developed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), as well as state tests by AIR in Florida and other states, and ACT are being used to psychologically profile and data mine students.
  • AIR, founded by a psychologist directing eugenics experiments in the 1930s; rarely mentions academic achievement; instead touting their "behavioral and social science research;" promotes education using "social and emotional intelligence" theories; and admits Common Core is a national curriculum.
  • Computer adaptive testing will not provide uniform results even across a classroom or state; much less the nation and can manipulate attitudes.
Data Privacy
  • Due to regulatory weakening of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, it is easy for data from CCSS tests to be collected and sent to the federal government, corporations and researchers without parental consent.
  • AIR admits to data mining individual students and teachers in multiple states, including Florida through their national longitudinal data center.
  • According to an investigation by Politico, ed-tech companies may be collecting as many as 10 million unique data points per child per day without consent.
  • AIR is involved in psychosocial data mining projects like the Social Genome Project and Project Talent.
Physical Harm due to Electromagnetic Fields According to study cited by Forbes (1/15/15), due to the thinness of their skulls, younger children are much more susceptible to harm from the wireless technology for teaching and testing the Common Core standards and curriculum that has been classified as a Group 2B carcinogen by an organization within the World Health Organization.

Recommendations - On the basis of all of this information, we recommend the following:
  1. No standards or curriculum should be teaching or assessing psychosocial attitudes, values and beliefs.
  2. No assessments, surveys, software, gaming system, individual learning system, or data collection labeled for academic use should be collecting data on non-cognitive, psychosocial attitudes, values or beliefs.
  3. The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment should be updated to protect students from psychosocial assessments and data collection within academic curriculum and data collection in addition to its many other problems of inadequately protecting student and teacher data privacy and security.
  4. Aside from the psychological manipulation of the standards, they are academically inferior and developmentally inappropriate and Florida should either return to their pre-Common Core standards or choose from among the best pre-Common Core standards in the nation, such as California, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Texas in English; and California, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Minnesota in math.
  5. No federal funds should go to any state or district in support of any education program that involves psychosocial attitudes, values, and beliefs that are intermixed into academic standards, curriculum, assessments, or data collection.
  6. Aside from the psychological manipulation of the standards, they are academically inferior and developmentally inappropriate and Florida should either return to their pre-Common Core standards or choose from among the best pre-Common Core standards in the nation, such as California, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Texas in English and California, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Minnesota in math, which is something that other states should strongly consider as well.
  7. The AIR testing contract should be canceled in Florida and examined in any other state where it is present and parents and or districts should be able to choose a pre-Common Core nationally norm-referenced test.
  8. The Work Sampling System should no longer be used to screen kindergarten students.
  9. Computer adaptive testing should be prohibited.
  10. Exposure to wireless devices, especially for young children, in school should be minimized.

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