In the Facebook group Stop Common Core In New York State, parents have begun posting a variety of allegations concerning direct discussions between teachers and students regarding the NY standardized tests. Some of them are quoted below:
- “My son (5th grade) comes home from school and tells me that his teacher is practically begging him to talk me into changing my mind about refusing the tests. Apparently she’s worried that none of her other students (he’s in a 12:1) will be able to pass the tests and she knows that my son will (and he would, but it’s so not the point). Where does she get off begging my son and making him feel guilty about doing exactly what his mother told him to do!!”
- “Mom I don’t want to take the standardized tests this year. My teacher said we can opt out and all you need to do is write a refusal letter.””
In our article titled Superintendent Paladino was right for the wrong reasons , we commented that it was wrong for teachers to talk directly to parents about the tests when they have a vested interest in the results. We suggested that doing this would inadvertently remove a parents right to refuse without fear, coercion or worse. As a hypothetical example, we put forth this scenario:
… imagine you are a parent and your child’s teacher talks to you about test refusals. After the conversation, what do you do if you were planning on your child taking the test? If you allow the test to be taken anyway, will this teacher take it out on your child at school? Will the last regular grade of the year be mysteriously low? Will your child be marked as testing trouble by other teachers in the future?
The negative mental questions a parent can think of are limitless. As a parent, your only logical choice is to refuse the test to avoid any questionable activity by the teacher now or in the future.
The Bill of Rights guarantees every American citizen a variety of individual freedoms that may be enjoyed without fear, coercion or reprisal from the government. Teachers are government employees and if the above allegations are true, they may have instilled a coercive atmosphere into children and their parents. There should be no protection for this kind of activity as it is a breeding ground for government corruption and tyranny.
The Common Core Parental Refusal Act Expands The Problem.
In NY, a few well meaning politicians have written a bill to dispel the confusion surrounding parental rights in refusing test participation by ensuring parents are aware of their right to refuse. An action that is nearly moot at this point unless you live in a cave. Nonetheless, a required statement like this will certainly serve as a reminder of parental rights long after this controversy settles down.
The real problem lies within a sentence on the petition website produced by these politicians:
“The bill protects teachers from being penalized in their evaluations due to a lack of student participation “
We believe the statement nearly guarantees (and incentivizes) teachers will turn up their attempts to persuade children and parents to refuse a test instead of placing their monetary & labor concerns where they belong; with their union representatives who are supposed to negotiate with elected public servants who represent the interests of people. As we have said before, refusing the state tests should remain a personal choice and right without influence from teachers and administrators who have a vested interest in the results.
- Superintendent Paladino was right for the wrong reasons
- Delaware PTA – opt out is a personal decision – will address concerns of fear and intimidation
- MN Moms – Students warned of missed lesson unless they opt out
- Are parents set to lose rights to opt out in ESEA and NCLB changes?
- Merryl Tisch – Your children are stuck in the middle of a labor argument