Opting Out Is Necessary Form Of Protest

To The Reader’s Forum:

Good lady McKee wrote (“Opt-Out Clause Sends Wrong Message,” 4-25-14): “It is a sad state of affairs when parents do not support that which has the potential to enhance the whole intellectual and academic development of their children.” She pontificated that it “encourages disrespect” and “rebellion” toward educators, and it promotes “intellectual cowardice,” not by children but by their parents! Really, Ms. McKee, isn’t that a bit overboard?

One wonders if she would have criticized parents for opting out of PARCC tests if she had examined the English Language Arts curriculum and EngageNY Mathematics in some detail? If so, she might be singing a different tune!

It is a “sad state of affairs” when the real and critical reasons for opting out of Common Core examinations are ignored by far too many, mostly, one suspects, because of ignorance and/or apathy. Opting out is a necessary form of protest for these reasons:

Most importantly, it is protest against the illegal, unconstitutional federal takeover of education in NY State. When our government ignores its defining documents, tyranny ensues, and trust in government is lost. We’re there!

It is protest against Commissioner King and the Board of Regents for selling out our children for 30 pieces of silver despite the established concept of federalism.

It is protest against our governor and those legislators who voted in support of Common Core despite its unconstitutionality.

It is protest against boards of education and administrators who lack courage to stand up to Commissioner King and the Board of Regents. They are traitors to the concept of states’ rights and local control in education.

It is protest against an English Language Arts program that is contrary to what we know constitutes excellent education: strong emphasis on high-quality literature, British and American; free of political bias; free of multiculturalism.

And protest against a mathematics program that is weak, riddled with errors, overly complex, inefficient, and wrong in its approach to teaching young children. Protest against a program that doesn’t prepare students for STEM careers: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics.

Life may be a series of tests, Ms. McKee, but the most effective ones have high validity and reliability. Common Core programs never were validated, never subjected to research, never field-tested before publication. The PARCC tests suffer from the same deficiencies. This is not proper evaluation, Ms. McKee, it is EXPERIMENTATION on our children!

Deann Nelson

Jamestown