The Ed Reformers Pull the Privilege Card on Those Who Opt-Out of Door #3
Monte Hall, the ultimate deal maker, is offering parents/taxpayers three doors for public education blueprints. These are the same educational plans are obligated to fund even as they are not considered in educational policy/planning. The choices behind Door #1, #2 and #3:
- Academic excellence
- A general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people
- Equity for all and guaranteed outcomes
The first two choices would probably be the educational goals most parents/taxpayers would prefer for their children as they allow individuals to determine their individual life paths. Door #3 takes away these choices as the expectation bar is set the same for all students, regardless of ability. There is a difference between wanting an education to know how to preserve the rights and liberties of the people (which requires a solid foundation of understanding history and political process) and a common educational blueprint in which everyone receives the same education so all can all reach the same goal (which has been determined by NGOs). What happens to the student who aspires to a higher prize and who isn’t satisfied with what’s behind Door #3?
Why wouldn’t parents/taxpayers/students be content with Door #3? One that includes:
- data tracking cradle to grave to determine correct workforce placement
- nationalized high stakes standardized testing written by NGOs
- data set based on unvalidated assessments
- increased emphasis on social/emotional learning and decreased emphasis on academic content/excellence
The clamor by education reformers that taxpayers/parents/students should be satisfied with Door #3 (aka known as ‘zonk’),
is evident in this recent Huffington Post article, Opting Out Is the Wrong Choice for Our Kids. It is authored by Charles F. Coleman, a civil rights attorney who self-describes as a Black Superhero:
To put it plainly: white parents from well-funded and highly performing areas are participating in petulant, poorly conceived protests that are ultimately affecting inner-city blacks at schools that need the funding and measures of accountability to ensure any hope of progress in performance. For example, in New York, while the numbers of students choosing to opt out was substantial, only 2% of the students who did opt out were from New York City. When the number of students who opt out in a state dips below a certain number in a state–often as high as 95%–it can affect both federal and state funding for school districts. The areas are often hit hardest are often the ones that were already performing poorly, where support and accountability are two imperatives toward improvement.
This is one of the more obvious examples of the sort of “double bonus” that privilege can create. The ability to opt out of standardized testing without serious concern for the consequences on parents’ school districts is only buttressed by the notion of having greater availability of alternative options. Choice in quality education, unfortunately, remains elusive for inner-city families for several reasons. For example, if a particular school zone is lacking in options for good schools, picking up and moving to an area with more choices is often not an option many can afford, information about school quality can be difficult to access, and with the rising-costs of high-quality private school education further out of reach it can make things even more difficult. Simply put, opting out hits the hardest on families that can absorb it the least.
Groups of parent activists have been popping up across the country expressing their disapproval over standardized testing. While there should be concerns raised over excessive testing and devoting too much classroom instruction to test prep, the long-term effects of opting out could be even worse, particularly for communities of color. Even more troublesome, the immediate effects of losing federal funding has a real impact on schools least able to take the hit.
Parents who want to opt out because there are too many tests (which also happen to be unvalidated) and too much test prep time taken instead of instruction are labeled to be privileged and harming inner city families. According to these reformers, children trapped in these communities consequently are in danger because of the selfish desires of opting out families. Coleman’s argument is originally based that we need Door #3 based on educational quality and tests are the only way to determine if we are providing quality education for all, but when the comments raise the issues of the problems of educational testing (such as this one):
Coleman and Chris ‘Citizen’ Stewart (a Gates funded ed reformer) pull the race and privilege card about these parents and education reform then evolves into achieving equity when all students take unvalidated tests (and useless data is gathered from these unvalidated tests):
After readers provide numerous responses about how funding will not be pulled and opting out is not a racial/equity issue but instead, protects all children, this is the response from the Gates funded reformer:
It’s fascinating to look behind Door #3 and read how the vast majority of the few in favor of Coleman’s article are connected with Education Post (Bill Gates’ funded publication) and tag those who don’t agree with them as *privileged* and *misinformed* even in the face of their claims being debunked. When you hear from ed reformers, state agencies and your school district that the goal of education today is *equity*, it’s *equity* in uselessness, unvalidated testing and minimal academics which make everyone equitably unsuitable for employment or critical thinking:
You can read all the comments here.
Note to parents: don’t feel guilty about opting your children out of Door #3. It’s not worth much of anything except unvalidated testing and endless data for NGOs and governmental agencies. It’s a zonk and not worth your time. It will not provide any students (regardless of race) with academic excellence or anything close to learning how to protect liberties and freedoms.