Message to Pro-CCSS, ESSA Politicians: This is Why Taxpayers/Parents Are Furious.
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Savvy politicians might want to read an article from Jonathon Pelto in Connecticut which describes the arrogance of the Connecticut Board of Education and its disdain for the people who are funding its very existence: taxpayers who are not recognized as stakeholders in educational decisions, even though it is the group actually funding and providing their children to the State for the State’s educational endeavors. These taxpayers (as in other states) are denied a chance to speak at public meetings, attacked for questioning/acting against educational reforms such as high stakes testing, and are initially not even invited to a meeting purported to foster ‘family and community engagement policies’. That’s bureaucracy at its ugly fineness: pretend to promote family engagement but place a gag order on the people they purport to help.
Politicians should be cognizant of the intense anger such arrogance engenders in the voters. Politicians should be introducing legislation holding bureaucrats accountable for their behavior and misuse of taxpayer funds in pursuing educational reforms that the taxpayers do not want: increased standardized testing, a one size fits all educational blueprint, and data tracking of their children cradle to grave. Politicians should also hold chief state school officers accountable for the *misinformation* they provide to parents.
Read about the Connecticut meeting which should cause serious parental disobedience and anger. From Incredulous: Watching CT Department of Education officials lecture school administrators on how to mislead parents:
Just when I thought I had truly seen everything when it comes to the arrogance, elitism, audacity and contemptuousness of those associated with the corporate funded “Education Reform” effort, I witnessed something even more breathtakingly incredible this past Monday at the Connecticut State Department of Education.
It has taken the week to even begin to be able to put into words what I and a handful of other parents and public school advocates witnessed. In fact, I wouldn’t have believed it, had I not seen it for myself.
As was initially reported in the Wait, What? blog post entitled, “Malloy-Wyman Administration ramp-up attack on parents who opt their children out of the Common Core SBAC testing fiasco,” a group of targeted Connecticut public school superintendents and principals were ordered to attend a mandatory meeting at the Department of Education to discuss their failure last spring, to stop enough parents from opting their children out of the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core SBAC testing scheme.
Thanks to the anti-local control, authoritarian policies being pushed by Governor Dannel Malloy, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman and their Commissioner of Education, the Connecticut State Department of Education summoned a group of local school administrators to a “roundtable discussion on family and community engagement strategies” on Monday, February 29, 2016 from 3:00 – 4:30 at the State Office Building in Hartford. The session was presented as a mechanism to enhance the communication skills of school administrators so that they could do a better job of ensuring that no more than 4.9 percent of public school parents opt their children out of the Common Cores testing mania.
After claiming that the meeting was actually a workshop, the State Department of Education told numerous parents and members of the public that they could not participate or even attend the “roundtable discussion on family and community engagement strategies.”
The state agency was clear – family and community were not welcome to attend or participate in a discussion about how to promote family and community engagement.
Finally, hours before the meeting was to begin, the State Department of Education reversed course or “clarified” its position saying that the public could come and watch, but would not be allowed to participate.
To call the event a roundtable would be … well more than a bit disingenuous.
There was nothing roundtable-ish about the session.
Instead of discussing parental concerns and how to address them, senior staff from the Department of Education lectured, instructed, talked-down-to and berated the local school administrators for an hour and a half about the need to “improve” communication with parents and their communities, thereby stopping parents from utilizing their legal and inalienable right to opt their children out of the Common Core testing frenzy.
One of the State Department of Education’s recommendations was to co-opt students to serve as ambassadors and promote the benefits of standardized testing.
In another example, SDE staff cheered about a YouTube video of teachers singing about how great the standardized testing opportunity was for students.
But the “pièce de la résistance” occurred as the meeting came to an end and a parent respectfully stood up to address the participants and explain why we oppose the mandated Common Core testing system.
And at that point, all Hell broke loose.
Read more what happened here when that parent addressed the *elites*, aka bureaucrats. It’s reminiscent of the Missouri State Board of Education 2013 statewide meetings in which parents were delphied and ignored.
Taxpayers, have you had enough yet? Taxpayers are ignored and in some cases, threatened by the police when they speak up about the reforms the bureaucracy has deemed necessary. The time for disobedience is long overdue. It’s time to demand and expect a place at the *roundtable*.