Tests are Exempt from Research Compliance…WTF?

Yesterday I spent approximately FIVE grueling hours doing online research compliance courses in order to begin my new research project next Fall as a professor at CUNY. I had to take an online course on the Responsible Conduct of Research and an additional online course on the Protection of Human Subjects. Each were over 2 hours long. Of course, having a doctorate in education which required educational research, a lot of the material was not new. I was pleasantly surprised by how much information I had retained on the research and human subject protocols from my doctoral work. Go me. Go TC. Go my super adviser Lesley Bartlett who schooled me in all I know about ethnographic research.

But sitting in front of my little laptop and doing this was heinous. My right eye was twitching like mad by the end from staring at my computer screen and I was skimming the texts for answers instead of reading comprehensively. But it’s done. Now to apply for Institutional Review Board (IRB) clearance.

What stood out to me was this, though (see below). What this translates to say is that if you are using educational tests ON children, IN the classroom, DURING instructional time (or anytime!), you DO NOT NEED RESEARCH CLEARANCE. YOU ARE EXEMPT.

Now this blew my mind, and it completely makes sense in how the NYC DoE can use instructional time to administer field tests on our children like they are guinea pigs whenever and where ever the DoE feels like it. Pearson (or any other corporate contractor) does not need any sort of research or human subject clearance to do so. I was just kvetching about this two days ago in this post, and then yesterday, when doing these online training modules, I found the answer to how these field tests are allowed to usurp instructional time.

Let me say this again and in bold: EDUCATIONAL TESTS USED ON OUR CHILDREN (AS STUDENTS) ARE EXEMPT FROM ANY SORT OF RESEARCH/HUMAN SUBJECT CLEARANCE.

I don’t know about you, but while that may be totally legitimate in the world of educational research, it’s messed up in my mind. My child should not be used in any one or any company’s research without my knowledge. WTF?

 

Question 2: According to Subpart D, research with children may be eligible for exemption when:

Your answer:

The research involves the use of educational tests

Correct Answer:

The research involves the use of educational tests

Comment:

Subpart D restricts the use of exemptions when children are research subjects. Research that involves interviews, surveys, or participant observation when the researcher interacts with the children is not eligible for exemption.

Points Earned:

1

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