With a few weeks left in the 2015-16 school year, a North Kingstown High School math teacher’s future job status remains in doubt.

In March, Superintendent Phil Auger said Shelley McDonald’s job was safe if she would proctor the PARCC assessment May 3. She is scheduled to be terminated at the end of the school year after multiple alleged instances of insubordination, which included not administering the PARCC exam.

In a May 8 email, McDonald claimed she was not allowed to administer the most recent PARCC exams because she did not click a screen to “agree” to the terms before issuing the online standardized tests to students.

In an April 25 email, McDonald said she planned to administer the PARCC “just as [she had] in the past.” In the May email, she said she remains concerned that if she agreed to the terms of use, Pearson, the vendor serving PARCC Inc, a consortium of states developing and implementing the PARCC assessment, could sell personal student information.

“For whatever reason it remains very important to the district that I agree to the release and sale of student private information and data to third parties,” McDonald said. “If I won’t do that, [the School Department] will continue to not allow me to proctor the test and will continue to insist that I am not doing my job.”

Superintendent Phil Auger refuted McDonald’s allegation after the May 10 School Committee meeting, saying McDonald chose not to administer the PARCC.

“She just told us she’s not going to do it,” Auger said.

Auger also referred to a memorandum of agreement the School Committee and National Education Association North Kingstown agreed to in March, which agrees the School Committee will release to Pearson only the name of the school or local education agency; the use role (test administrator or coordinator); usernames created by the school or local education agency – such as a user’s email address; teachers’ full names and district email addresses.

McDonald said that understanding did not protect student data “in any way,” a claim Auger said was untrue.

“We’re not sharing anyone’s personal information, not kids’ or teachers’, with Pearson or anybody else … other than this student [name], this school and grade; that’s it,” he said. “The union accepted that and [McDonald] clearly did not. She said ‘I’m not doing it,’ which means you’re clearly not proctoring.”

In an interview, NEA-NK President Kevin DuBois said he and other union member teachers were concerned with Pearson possibly selling student and teacher data to third-party companies, but they reached the agreement with the district, and received confirmation from a state Department of Education representative that the state did not intend to share any student information other than the students’ gender and ethnicity.

“No personal info on where they live, Social Security numbers or anything like that [will be shared],” DuBois said.

RIDE spokesman Elliot Krieger confirmed RIDE does not send any personal information from any district to Pearson.

In February, the North Kingstown School Committee unanimously voted to accept Auger’s recommendation to terminate McDonald, who has taught at North Kingstown High School for eight years, as of June 20.

During the meeting, Auger alleged McDonald did not attend a PARCC training session and infrastructure trial, did not proctor the PARCC exam in March 2015 and December, and was reprimanded during the 2013-14 school year after school administration became aware she was turning off a wireless router in another teacher’s classroom.

McDonald – diagnosed with electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome about two years ago – she said regularly advocated against Wi-Fi installation in North Kingstown’s schools, claiming exposure to Wi-Fi causes adverse health effects in humans.

Auger said McDonald was allowed to request an evidentiary hearing within 15 days of that hearing, and that she said she was interested in having one, but “has not followed up.” McDonald said she has heard nothing “to date” about that hearing.

Unless McDonald takes action, her termination will be effective June 20, Auger said.

nk@independentri.com

nk@independentri.com

Correction: This article was corrected May 19, 2016 to reflect that Pearson is not the owner of PARCC, but a vendor that serves it. The Independent regrets the error.

(5) comments

MC

http://www.iddd.de/umtsno/puzmud.htm

MC

http://www.magdahavas.com/who-admits-the-world-has-lost-their-trust/

MC

http://ethics.harvard.edu/files/center-for-ethics/files/capturedagency_alster.pdf

MC

You didn't do your homework Gary: https://www.emfanalysis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/wi-fi_7_legal_ramifications1.pdf

Gary

Good article, except for the part where you report that she was "diagnosed with electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome about two years ago". The medical community has no such diagnosis. The symptoms may be real, but there is no science linking the symptoms to EMF exposure. You can check it out at http://www.who.int/peh-emf/publications/facts/fs296/en/.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.