Parent Review Committee for CAT

The Utah State Office of Education has announced they are taking applications for the parent review panel to review the computer adaptive test (CAT) questions. Only 15 parents are allowed to be on this committee which is very unfortunate. We want EVERYONE to apply as a signal that this is inadequate representation.

Application – Assessment Item Parent Review Committee (PDF)

Application – Assessment Item Parent Review Committee (MS Word)

The application contains the following information about the position:


Utah Code 53A-1-603 directs that the Utah State Board of Education “require each school district and charter school, as applicable, to administer a computer adaptive assessment system.”  The law also establishes a committee of 15 parents of Utah public education students to review all computer adaptive test questions, as outlined below.


(9)       (a) The State Board of Education shall establish a committee consisting of 15 parents of Utah public education students to review all computer adaptive test questions. 

(b) The committee established in Subsection (9)(a) shall include the following parent members:

 (i) five members appointed by the chair of the State Board of Education;

                        (ii) five members appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives; and

(iii) five members appointed by the president of the Senate.

            (c) The State Board of Education shall provide staff support to the parent committee.

            (d) The term of office of each member appointed in Subsection (9)(b) is four years.

            (e) The chair of the State Board of Education, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and the president of the Senate shall adjust the length of terms to stagger the terms of committee members so that approximately 1/2 of the committee members are appointed every two years.

(f) No member may receive compensation or benefits for the member’s service on the committee.


It is anticipated that the time commitment for the committee in 2013 will be approximately 40 hours, with all-day meetings scheduled the week of November 4-8, 2013.  Committee members will be reimbursed for mileage to and from the State Office of Education, hotel cost if they live more than 50 miles from the office, and will be provided a lunch each meeting day.


If you are interested in serving on this committee, please fill out the information on the following page and submit to Board Secretary Lorraine Austin, at or PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, UT 84114, by September 15, 2013.

7 thoughts on “Parent Review Committee for CAT”

  1. As a businessman and adjunct college teacher for many years I have a huge interest in public education. I would like to serve on the review committee. I will serve with dedication and commitment to go a good job.

  2. I have children in the Jordan school district and North Star Academy. I am very interested in what these tests are compised of.
    Thank you,
    Anna Kelsch

  3. I am wondering whether “parents of Utah public education students” means only people who presently fit that designation, or if it includes those that have or will or might fit it. It should include everyone, or the selection criteria would eliminate thousands upon thousands of people with interests in what is happening in the public schools. There are grandparents with children in the public schools. There are aunts and uncles with family in the public schools. There are hundreds and probably thousands of parents in Utah who care very much about what’s going on in the public system, even though their children aren’t enrolled there, because we know that most children will attend the public schools, and what goes on there will affect the whole society, including our children’s choices for friends, associates and future spouses.

    I have recently chosen to enroll my children in a private school in large part due to the education overhaul taking place in the public system. But should my family’s circumstances change, we may find ourselves needing to access the public system again. There are many families choosing to homeschool rather than keep their children in this system, even though they would much prefer to be able to use the public schools which served them so well as children. ALL of us are paying the taxes that created these new tests, and I would hope that we are able to throw our hats into this very small ring to get a chance to see what we’re paying for. I will contact the State Office and ask, and let you know.

  4. I find it amusing that after I sent my application into the board I received this automative reply. Confidentiality is everything for the test to get away with……..whatever it may be they are hiding.
    Lorraine sent me the following:
    Thank you for your application. We appreciate your willingness to serve. Please be aware that if you are chosen for the committee you will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement. The committee will be determined after September 15.

    Lorraine Austin, Secretary to the Board

    A friend was helping in our 3-5 grade testing center in the spring and took a picture with her phone of a disturbing question, the principal demanded she delete it immediately.

    It is sickening to think of the parental rights we are losing to public education. Coming from generations of public educators I am embarrassed that too many educators and parents are ignorant to the direction Common Core is taking us (and that is just the most recent mess in public ed). THANK YOU for being so diligent in educating us!


  5. I received a response from the Board secretary. The pool is limited to parents of current public education students.

  6. Did anyone notice that when you send in your application you are sent the following message.

    Thank you for your application. We appreciate your willingness to serve. Please be aware that anyone chosen for the committee will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

    It should worry everyone that there is a confidentiality agreement required!! What are they hiding. Every parent should have access to everything that their kids are doing, being asked, etc.

  7. This is a complete joke and a public relations farce. No offense to the hard working, sincere parents who will volunteer their time to this, but how are a few hand picked, “lay” parents going to be effective reviewers of this monstrosity of a “test”? Of course I pointed this out directly and in person to Dr. Martell Menlove (State Superintendent of Schools), and he flat out agreed that this “was an issue that had to be addressed”. (I’m just waiting for the day someone at USOE denies ANY statement I have ever made from this meeting, and noted in detail via one of my “ramblings” on this site….I taped the meeting….all three hours).

    In a nutshell, I pointed Dr. Menlove to where exactly he and USOE could contact to provide Utah Parents with a unbiased, comprehensive review of the $39 million dollar work of adaptive testing art they proclaim to be “excellent”. I am even NOT qualified to go in and review this test, let alone a well meaning soccer mom.

    Take heart Utah, it simply is a matter of time (and money wasted and spent) before we have to soon endure the mess that the State of New York recently had to go through via their experimental test. Their State Superintendent at least had the courage to admit that he was “very wrong” and apologized to the State and the nation….and demanded that the Common Core testing stop immediately. When confront by evidence of possible testing harm via direct testimony, Utah’s response was simply to pass the nation’s first law which (effectively) banned parents from opting out their children out of this test. Sad.

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