Michelle Malkin: Parents, Refuse Common Core Tests   14 comments

By Michelle Malkin

Posted with permission from Michelle Malkin; also published at National Review Online. 

Malkin2

 

 

Bureaucrats and big business can’t make you let your kids take their exams.

This is National School Choice Week, but I want to talk about parents’ school choice.  Moms and Dads, you have the inherent right and responsibility to protect your children. You can choose to refuse the top-down Common Core racket of costly standardized tests of dubious academic value, reliability and validity.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I’m reminding you of your right to choose because the spring season of testing tyranny is about to hit the fan. Do you object to the time being taken away from your kids’ classroom learning? Are you alarmed by the intrusive data-sharing and data-mining enabled by assessment-driven special interests? Are you opposed to the usurpation of local control by corporate testing giants and federal lobbyists?

You are not alone, although the testing racketeers are doing everything they can to marginalize you. In Maryland, a mom of a nine-year-old special-needs student is suing her Frederick County school district to assert her parental prerogative. Cindy Rose writes that her school district “says the law requires our children be tested, but could not point to a specific law or regulation” forcing her child to take Common Core–tied tests. Rose’s pre-trial conference is scheduled for February 4.

The vigilant mom warns parents nationwide: “While we are being treated like serfs of the State, Pearson publishing is raking in billions off our children.” And she is not going to just lie down and surrender because some bloviating suits told her “it’s the law.”

Pearson, as I’ve reported extensively, is the multibillion-dollar educational-publishing and educational-testing conglomerate — not to mention a chief corporate sponsor of Jeb Bush’s Fed Ed ventures — that snagged $23 million in contracts to design the first wave of so-called “PARCC” tests.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers raked in $186 million through the federal Race to the Top program to develop the nationalized tests “aligned” to the Common Core standards developed in Beltway backrooms.

As more families, administrators, and teachers realized the classroom and cost burdens that the guinea-pig field-testing scheme would impose, they pressured their states to withdraw. Between 2011 and 2014, the number of states actively signed up for PARCC dropped from 24 (plus the District of Columbia) to ten (plus D.C.). Education researcher Mercedes Schneider reports that the remaining ten are Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

State legislators and state education boards in Utah, Kansas, Alaska, Iowa, South Carolina, and Alabama have withdrawn from the other federally funded testing consortium, the $180 million tax-subsidized Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, which administered field tests last spring to 3 million students in 23 states.

In New Jersey, the parental opt-out movement is “exploding,” according to activist Jean McTavish. Many superintendents have conceded that “they can’t force a student to take a test,” NJ.com reports.

Last week, Missouri withdrew from PARCC, while parents, administrators, and the school board of the Chicago public schools spurned PARCC in the majority of their 600 schools.

In California, the Pacific Justice Institute offers a privacy-protection opt-out form for parents to submit to school districts at pacificjustice.org. PJI head Brad Dacus advises families to send the notices as certified letters if they get ignored. Then, be prepared to go to court. PJI will help. The Thomas More Law Center in Michigan also offers a student-privacy opt-out form at thomasmore.org.

Don’t let the bureaucratic smokescreens fool you. A federal No Child Left Behind mandate on states to administer assessments is not a mandate on you and your kids to submit to the testing diktats. And the absence of an opt-out law or regulation is not a prohibition on your choice to refuse.

Here in Colorado, the state board of education voted this month to allow districts to opt out of PARCC testing. Parents and activists continue to pressure a state task force — packed with Gates Foundation and edu-tech special-interest-conflicted members — to reduce the testing burden statewide. For those who don’t live in PARCC-waivered districts, it’s important to know your rights and know the spin.

In Colorado Springs, where I have a high-schooler whose district will sacrifice a total of six full academic days for PARCC testing this spring, parents are calling the testing drones’ bluff about losing their accreditation and funding.

“The Colorado Department of Education is threatening schools to ensure that 95 percent of students take these tests,” an El Paso County parents’ watch group reports.

Be assured that MANY parents across Colorado — FAR ABOVE 5 percent in many schools — are refusing the tests, and not one school yet is facing the loss of accreditation, funding, etc. As long as schools can show that they gave a “good faith attempt to get 95 percent to test, they can appeal a loss of accreditation” due to parental refusals to test.

You also have the power to exercise a parental nuclear option: If edu-bullies play hardball and oppose your right to refuse, tell them you’ll have your kid take the test and intentionally answer every question wrong — and that you’ll advise every parent you know to tell their kids to do the same. How’s that for accountability?

Be prepared to push back against threats and ostracism. Find strength in numbers. And always remember: You are your kids’ primary educational provider.

 

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Thank you, Michelle Malkin.

Utah parents:  SAGE testing is Common Core testing.  End of the year SAGE/A.I.R. tests must (by state mandate) be given by schools, but there’s no law that says students or parents have to sit for them.  In fact, by several laws, parents hold the legal authority and freedom to opt out of these tests and anything that the parent does not feel good about.  I advise us to consider opting out of all SAGE related testing and data collections: mid-year (interim) and the SAGE formative tests that Common Core/SAGE “offers” schools.  Opt out of all of it.  Politely, kindly, firmly.

It is time to take a stand against the cartels and politicians who are using our tax dollars and our legislators to make our children their unpaid and disrespected guinea pigs.  It is time to say, politely, “no way” to these secretive, centrally-managed, unviewable, unpiloted  tests that are pushing experimental and controversial academic standards.

Just say no.  Here’s an opt out form.   Or write your own.  You are the parent.  You are the legal authority.  Remember, the  state recognizes that:

(i) a parent has the right, obligation, responsibility, and authority to raise, manage, train, educate, provide for, and reasonably discipline the parent’s children; and

(ii) the state’s role is secondary and supportive to the primary role of a parent.

14 responses to “Michelle Malkin: Parents, Refuse Common Core Tests

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  1. Pingback: VIDEO: Florida Education Stakeholders Empowerment Act Explained - Dr. Rich Swier

  2. As a parent and teacher, this post is a true breath of fresh “educational” air! Thank you! Arizona’s new Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, is also firmly against Common Core and all its invalid testing. I hope she can turn the tide (legislature) here in Arizona.

  3. Lord help us to see the damage Common Core is causing common thinking that has morality as a goal!!!

  4. Thank you Michelle. We need as much info as we can get. As parents and teachers, we also need to share the info and help each other out, around the country. You never know, what ‘ little piece’ of info can make the differnce for someone.
    Thank you again. We need you

  5. Love the content, but the blue background makes it hard to read!

  6. I’m a bit confused. I live in RI and teach at the secondary level in CT. In New England, accreditation and anything governmental is separate. Is it different in other areas of the country? States grant accreditation?

  7. Ladies: I REALLY need your help. I’m a Utah teacher. I know that in order to get the NCLB waiver, that states had to tie teacher evaluations to teacher salary. None of my colleagues or district or school administration believes that this is coming. I have sent them your email that you reported on in November, but I would really like to be able to show them the actual document of the waiver. I have read through parts of the 159 page waiver document, but I cannot find the part that would tie evaluations to salaries. I know you have gone over the document, and I wondered if you have a link or a page from the waiver document that I could show to these administrators. Can you please help me? Thank you!

    Threatened out West
  8. Where does TN fit in? I thought they were starting PAARC testing next year?

    Connie Ernsberger
  9. I’m in Oklahoma and my child is special needs. He’s been held back because he wouldn’t be able to pass the test in third grade. Please help me with an opt out for him. I work with him at home but common core is not for him. My working with him has got him reading at a 2nd grade level! He forgets so easily.

  10. I opted my son out of the math test last year in NY. He struggles to no end, and I was “secretly” advised by his teacher to not put him thru it. Now, the district is using that against him and not giving him the extra support he needs. I was told they had no “scores” to back it up!!

    • Kathy, this is sad. If this happened to me, I would contact my representatives both at the legislature and the local and state school boards, and news reporters, to get your story known. The pushers of common core tests have their words close to the children, but their hearts are far from them.

  11. Thank you for getting this message out. We have opted out of testing and have a circle of friends who have opted out of testing as well. I would not have known about opting out if not for your web presence.

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