Delaware Parents Need To E-Mail State Rep. Earl Jaques About Offensive & Disgusting Comments About Students

DE State Rep. Earl Jaques

 “To me, opt out is admitting failure,” said Jaques. “[It’s] saying, oh, I can’t measure up. I’m not good enough to be able to take this test. I can’t pass that test. That’s not the American way.”

Yes, this was said by an elected official yesterday.  This was said by a man who has never been a teacher, but serves as the Chair of the House Education Committee.  As a special needs parent, I was deeply offended by Jaques’ comments.  Usually, I take this education stuff with a grain of salt.  I may get upset, but it doesn’t hit on a personal level.  Mr. Jaques changed all that, because after someone else posted about Jaques calling his own son a failure, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I decided almost a year ago my son would not take the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  I publicly wrote a letter to the editor in The State News five months ago opting him out.  So in terms of my own son, I haven’t even entertained the notion of him taking this monstrosity of a test in a long time.  For all my talk about opt out, it is truly for the rest of Delaware that I am reaching out to.  Earl Jaques changed that.

Another parent shared with me her email to Earl Jaques.  She gave an okay to publish it, but out of respect for her, I will not put her last name in it.

Representative Jacques:

Today, I learned of your comments regarding parents who choose to not permit their children to participate in Smarter assessments. My first source was a blog, so I tried to convince myself that the reporting was biased or untrue. Not because I don’t trust the blogger in question, but because I did not want to believe that an elected public official would be so dismissive of parents. Unfortunately, I was wrong and the blogs were right. Unless, of course, you want to deny what you said and was reported in mainstream media.

How. Dare. You.

How dare you imply that parents who exercise their rights are not good Americans? Isn’t that what being American is about – knowing your rights as an individual and making choices based on that information?

How dare you be so condescending and dismissive of the community that elected you to the public office you hold? Your arrogance is utterly overwhelming.

How dare you classify children who do not participate in a test that is no more than a giant money grab that has the added benefit of labeling and punishing professional educators as failures? You can’t possibly be that out of touch with reality.

Let me give credit where it is due. Part of your quote is correct. Opting out IS admitting failure. But that is where your accuracy ends. This isn’t about the failure of students, parents, or teachers. It is about the failure of the Smarter Balance assessment to be a valuable tool to measure sound, research-based standards and provide meaningful information for teachers.

Don’t you ever again dare to claim my children are failures or don’t measure up because I made a decision that I believe to be good for them. Ever again. And not just my children, but the children of every parent who has made the same choice that I have to not have their children participate in the testing this season. You don’t have the right.

You owe the community an apology. And your resignation.


I am also calling on Earl Jaques’ resignation.  This is absolutely the worst thing a parent can hear right now.  It shows a true disconnect with the people you were elected to serve.  You don’t serve Jack Markell, or the big bad power movers in the corporate education reform movement.  You serve the people of Delaware.  You have no right to judge any child or parent in this state.  Here’s the facts Earl: my son would probably do okay on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  He is very smart and very intelligent.  He did great on DCAS last year.  But this test, this very big test, is not designed to give students a better education.  It is designed to tear students down, to feel frustrated, to give data to power brokers who will make money off my son.  I don’t want to hear about any of the excuses people give about what this test will do.  I’ve seen it.  It’s confusing and manipulative.  It has high-stakes, and any test that has this much controversy cannot be good.  So do us all a favor, don’t keep talking.  Just resign, and go in peace.  And please apologize to us all on your way out.

If you would like to email Earl Jaques with your thoughts on this matter, please do so at

The above quote came from this article:

4 thoughts on “Delaware Parents Need To E-Mail State Rep. Earl Jaques About Offensive & Disgusting Comments About Students

  1. Reblogged this on Those In Favor and commented:
    For my kids, it has nothing to do with whether I think they can pass a one size fits all test. It’s about the sheer number of tests and hours spent taking them that they’re required to do. IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. Sorry Rep. Jacques, I know how smart my kids are and I know how high they measure, so do their teachers. The State of Delaware can’t figure out how to measure anything in schools. Try again, this time say something less obtuse.


  2. Here is a copy of my email sent to the gentleman .

    Representative Jacques:

    Today, I learned of your comments regarding parents who choose to not permit their children to participate in Smarter Balance Assessments.
    You have your platform to spin this any way you like, Good luck with that.
    My only platform is to Opt out my 3rd grader. None of your comments connect.
    I have spent a lot of time looking for a pro Common Core discussion that made sense to me. I have read a lot of material and spoke to: School Administrators, legislators, teachers, parents, went to many public discussions and have yet to hear one.
    I have heard a lot of negative comments, from those with impressive credentials. What I heard from a representative from the DDOE is they have a lot of value for assessing students and collecting data. Also with out specifics or benchmarks claiming its important to our nation that a kid from the Bayou with have the same skill set as one from Washington.
    It looks like they expect to achieve this lofty goal, through an education system that was NOT developed by educators, or in anyway has proven its claim.
    I call this Experimental Education, pushed on us all by yet another new bureaucracy, costing tax payers millions of dollars.
    Here is what I expect. I expect a certified teacher in the classroom, with a the skill set to assess my child. I expect school Principals to have the skill set to assess their teachers. I expect the school Superintendent to have the skill set to assess their Principals. Without spending this kind of money. The pro CC arguments seem to be an admission that currently this is not the case.
    If not we are doing it wrong.
    Calling me and my children names is not the solution.
    Thank you
    David Brenton


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