New Mexico ACLU Complaint Could Have Huge Impact For Teachers Nationwide

The New Mexico American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint yesterday with the First Judicial District Court of Santa Fe County.  The plaintiffs, five public school teachers and a parent, allege that the New Mexico Public Education Department is violating their First Amendment rights by forbidding them to talk negatively about standardized assessments.

The concerns are serious, touching on one of the most basic functions of government, public education.  They include criticisms that government officials have prioritized profit and politics over public education; have fundamentally changed education, as teachers must now devote significant hours to teaching to the tests, not their students’ actual education needs; and have ignored that the tests are often developmentally inappropriate and traumatic for some students with disabilities.

The teachers and the parent work or live in the Santa Fe and Albuquerque Public School districts.  Both districts give parents the right to opt their children out of standardized tests, but state law forbids teachers from “disparaging” standardized tests.  The teachers and the parent this robs educators of the ability to advocate for students when they have first-hand knowledge of what high-stakes tests do to students.  They also allege these tests give school districts false labels in accountability measures.

I could easily see this case, if not won at a state level, advancing even higher.  It was only a matter of time before this country saw a case like this.  This could have far-reaching implications for opt out across the country.  If the plaintiff wins, it could be used as precedent in other cases across America.  If they lose, I would certainly hope they would appeal.  I truly wouldn’t mind if a case like this wound up in the United States Supreme Court so the decision on parental rights is made once and for all by the highest court in the country.

New Mexico uses the PARCC as their state assessment.

I salute these five teachers and parent for bringing this case forward as well as the ACLU for taking the case.  It is about time people stood up for their own rights, student rights, and parent rights.  I will be following this case closely going forward!  To read the full complaint, please see below:

2 thoughts on “New Mexico ACLU Complaint Could Have Huge Impact For Teachers Nationwide

  1. Whenever you prevent teachers from being able to express their opinions at an IEP, you are in effect putting a muzzle on the very professionals who are supposed to be representing the best interests of the students! I would put my faith on the teachers having the children’s best interests at heart rather than the school districts.

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  2. Silliness is so obvious here. Whenever administrators have to invent rules to make someone’s policy work, it is obviously not a good policy… Common Core and these tests are only viable if one customizes a fabricated environment in into which they can then exist… like theoretical particles we think exist, but can never prove.. Basing an entire American educational system on a theoretical particle which depends on teachers “not talking”, may work very short term, but all can predict sooner or later, it will be scrapped for something else which will work if teachers “talk”. Just saying any and every investor, needs to avoid any and everything related to Common Core like a plague.

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