A Nevada mom contacted me about the issues arising from a parent’s request to opt his child out of standardized testing and her letter appears below:
Whose Child is this Anyway?
For the past several months parents of public school children have been asking, insisting, and demanding that their children not be forced to take a standardized test. Why are parents of public school children asking, insisting, and demanding that their children not be forced to take standardized tests?
Here’s the answer – Because parents are being kicked to the curb by people in positions that they have somehow, elevated in their own minds, as being larger or otherwise more important than the parents. When a parent makes a decision for their child that decision is recognized by natural law, if not out of respect or deference to the parent. Furthermore, the parent need not give a reason. Why you ask – because parents are the final authority.
It’s a fringe thought isn’t it? Parents have not only a say in their children’s lives but they have the say in their children’s lives? One more time – parents have not only a say in their children’s lives but the say! Until their children become “of age” parents are the final authority – holding the rights to decide for their children.
Parents, it’s time to recognize, and stop asking for permission, to love, nurture, protect, and guide your children.
At this very moment parents are traversing through individual state regulations in search of legal precedent on which to base their decision TO PARENT! This overwhelms all of my senses. A parent, however recognized, legal or natural, should never have to withhold their right to parent while in search of some hollow decree that grants them permission to do so. Do we really need a law to parent? I think the only law that parents need is one that will send the interlopers packing.
Following is the response a Clark County, Nevada, parent received to a simple, respectful request to have his child sit-out the CRT testing this year as it will yield no useful information for him or his child. This test, which is being replaced by another next year, is only being used to grade or rank the school:
Dear (Parent name withheld):
It is my understanding that we are required to request (minor child) complete the test on each of our assigned testing days, as well as any days on which we administer make up exams for his grade level during the testing window. If (minor child) refuses to test, he will be sent to the office for insubordination. It is my normal procedure to meet with students who are sent to office, and this procedure will remain consistent.
(Principal name withheld)
(Name withheld) Clark County Elementary School
So based on the principal’s “understanding,” this child will be castigated and embarrassed if he does not comply with the wishes of a school principal over the wishes of his parent. Apparently, not all bullies operate on the blacktop.
Parent can and may be defined in different ways. The two definitions that are the most common are: – a natural parent, who created the off spring, or legal, a parent who nurtures and raises a child. In a civilized society these two definitions should be enough, yet, sadly, here in the United States, of all places, we have Supreme Court rulings that confirm the parents’ fundamental rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children and the United States Code, Title 20, Chapter 48 clearly states: (3) parents have the primary responsibility for the education of their children, and States, localities, and private institutions have the primary responsibility for supporting that parental role.
Speaking for parents everywhere – if you are not interested in supporting parents as they thoughtfully direct and guide decisions for their children, inside of education (or out), then parents are not interested in having you in their children’s life – period.
We’ve just received word from a parent in Missouri that her child would be charged also with insubordination if the child refused to take the test. What is going on with these bureaucrats? Why is the taking of the test sacrosanct over the parent’s wishes for the child?
Schools are increasingly being described as “prisons”. When a child can be charged with “insubordination” for refusing a test, that label may be appropriate. It used to be that the child just failed the test and that was that. The student received a failing grade. But when a child is forced to take a test (under threat of insubordination) that’s necessary for a school, district or state educational mandates rather than for the child’s benefit, education delivery exists for the system, not for the student.