Sending a very confusing message to American parents, the National PTA will be issuing a position statement on testing and opt-out in the next couple days. In anticipation of this, the Delaware PTA issued a press release indicating they still support House Bill 50 because it supports parent’s rights, and in turn, children’s rights. The National PTA will not support the opt-out movement according to the Delaware PTA statement. The Delaware PTA has always advised they do not tell parents to opt out or tell them not to. But they have done a lot for opt-out in their support for House Bill 50.
As state teacher’s unions and the national unions, National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers, have never really supported the movement one way or another, the focus for all these groups has now become the nature of testing. In other words, the reformers have won. They have convinced the biggest organizations concerning schools that the problem isn’t with these upstart parents opting their kids out, it is the actual tests. Which is why we are seeing these assessment inventory committees popping up all over the country.
The end goal will be the same tests parents object to, but in smaller chunks, embedded in tests throughout the year. As students reach the end of units they are learning in their personalized learning environment, they will be given unit tests. They will still be standardized assessments, but not on the surface. Students will only progress when they have become proficient on the material. Based on “their” material. Not the standards most people grew up with, but the Common Core standards.
It is a disgrace. I still believe the only way to stop the takeover of our children by these reprehensible companies and organizations is to make a lot of noise and opt-out. The PTA’s and unions have been lulled into a false sense of security by these animals. They still don’t get what the essential problem is here. But many parents do. It is Common Core. It is the resources pouring out of the classroom and into corporations that disguise themselves as think tanks and non-profits. Where their CEO’s make more than most people make in six years. Where they buy off legislators and politicians with their big money and big words. With promises of power and security at the expense of children.
I have felt many betrayals in the past year and a half, but none have stung like the ones in the past two months. Organizations and people I thought were allies. They know who they are. If they don’t, be assured I hear a lot. Much more than you probably realize. Delaware isn’t that big. People who think the world will stop revolving if they don’t make sure they are heard. I respect the Delaware PTA for getting this out there ahead of time. I joined the PTA back in September so I could hopefully get some more access to things. That never happened, despite assurances from someone that it would. So I will not be paying my “membership fee” again. I truly can’t support an organization that thinks a parent’s right to opt their child out of the Smarter Balanced is okay but still thinks Common Core is a good thing. I always knew this day would come, but it happened much sooner than I expected.
Delaware and American parents are on their own. We can’t rely on anyone but ourselves. We must shoulder the fight for our children by ourselves, without any true support. And you know what, I kind of like it better that way…