Letter: Your child, your choice


Letter: Your child, your choice

Joe Ryan
St Augustine, FL

High Stakes testing is planned for every public school child in Florida. If you thought the FCATs were bad the new common core aligned assessments are like “FCATs on Steroids”.

But your child does not have to be subjected to many of the tests that the State or Local School Boards have been forcing on your child. The stress and anxiety your child is experiencing is solely for the purpose of gathering data.

One school board member in St. Johns County said the District tests were only given as a “check point” for the state tests. Neither the students nor the teachers benefited from these “check points” so why not refuse them?

This may sound radical, but it is legal and is being done across the country, and secretly supported by many teachers. Parents are organizing in states around the country for training on how to legally refuse the common core tests, we can too in Florida.

Your child can legally opt-out or refuse to take most of the common core assessments. It is very important for parents, especially in Florida to refuse every assessment because the assessment provider is the American Institute for Research. They specialize in gathering psychological and behavioral data on their assessments, and are not an academic testing firm. They are very good at it, and since the test will be digital, you will never see the questions your child will have to answer.

And please, do yourself, your child and every child a favor. Vote for candidates who will protect your child and not punish your child for exercising their legal option and your choice to refuse the assessments.

In most cases these candidates gave away your child’s birthright in exchange for political or financial support; that would mean Board Members and legislators who voted for the Race to the Top application in 2010 or support Jeb Bush’s Education agenda (common core) now.