The Irony Of Mark Zuckerberg & Facebook Jail For A Parent Bill Of Rights For Education

As I look back on the last 20 hours or so, I am still in shock over my Facebook banning.  Frankly, with the thousands of articles I’ve written on here and posted all over education groups on Facebook, I’m shocked it didn’t happen sooner.  It makes me wonder, what was it about this post, a “Parent Bill of Rights” for education, written in reaction to the education reform tainted “Testing Bill of Rights”, that caused this banning on Facebook?  Did I fly too close to the sun with my “Parent Bill of Rights in Education”?  I could hypothesize all day long who may have complained to Facebook, but the plain simple fact is this: I’ve ticked off many in nearly two years of blogging.

But what if it was more than someone just complaining?  Others have been banned from posting in groups before.  But have they had the groups they administer decimated?  The Delaware Opt Out district groups (all 20 of them), the Refuse The Test Delaware page, and Delaware Against Common Core?  While I can see the posts I put on those groups, others can’t.  Why are they restricting others from seeing what I’ve written?  This is censorship at it’s absolute worst.  I would love to know the justification for my two week ban.  What criteria do they use?   I saw their community page, but nothing in my article called out anyone, threatened anyone, bullied, or harassed anyone.  There was no sexual content or nudity.  Nothing remotely bad.  Especially compared to what I’ve written before!

I have to think, whatever is going on, I rattled someone.  So bad, they wanted to shut me up fast.  Which tells me they are worried.  Scared.  On edge.  I’ve always suspected opt out was very dangerous to the corporate education reformers.  But when you encourage parents to demand data on their children isn’t sent out at an aggregate level, that’s a whole other level of opt out.

What scared them is how fast it got out there.  Within minutes of my posting the article to different Facebook groups, it was being shared by like-minded readers.  But the action on Facebook’s part had a rebound effect.  A very big thank you to the always awesome Emily Talmage for announcing my Facebook jail status.  Nobody likes to be censored, and nobody likes to see someone being censored (unless you’re a corporate education reformer).  This caused the “Parent Bill of Rights” to become bigger than I ever thought it would.  Which is more ironic, the fact that censorship led to greater views or that Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook banned a post that actually talked about parents being censored?

If you agree with the “Parent Bill of Rights for Education”, please sign the petition on Change.org today.  Many have signed already.  And if you should want to share this post or the change.org petition on Facebook, please do so.  Until April 8th, I can only write and post on my own Facebook status.  What I learned yesterday was how many parents agree and are in solidarity about the rights of parents and children.  That’s a very good thing.

 

House Bill 50 Gives Protection For Student Rights And Honors Parental Rights

The biggest fear any parent has when they opt their child out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment in Delaware is that their child will be punished by school officials.  They do not want their child suspended or told they won’t be able to go to the next grade or told they have to go to summer school.  They don’t want their child to sit around all day when other students take the test.  They don’t want to be told not to bring their child to school that day.  House Bill 50 guarantees these student rights just as much as honoring the parental right to have parents make this choice.

In all the conversation about House Bill 50, and what it is about, this is what is missing from the conversation.  It protects the student.  I recently heard something discussed at the first Delaware PTA Town Hall from last February.  A student was told to lie to other students about being opted out of Smarter Balanced.  This was done so the student couldn’t encourage other students to opt out.  Since when is it okay for anyone in a school to encourage a child to lie?

House Bill 50 states: “Schools shall honor any timely request and provide alternative educational activities during testing times” and “there shall be no academic or disciplinary repercussions on the student’s record for opting out of participating in the statewide assessment”.

Student rights are just as important as a parent’s right.  It is a given that preventing opt-out is doomed to failure.  The Governor actually understands this now, according to the infamous Washington Post editorial, as do our schools, teachers, and legislators.  House Bill 50 does not allow opt-out, which has been mistakenly written in the News Journal a number of times.  It honors the choice and offers protection.

I sincerely hope our legislators in the Delaware House of Representatives and Senate do not forget these very important facts and recognize those two things, choice and protection, are the most important part of their decision.  Why would they not want to protect student rights and honor parental rights?