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:
I just saw a tweet from EdWeek about three states participating in a web-based seminar on competency-based education. This webinar will include Michael Watson, the Chief Academic Officer and Assistant Secretary for the Delaware Department of Education. Also participating are representatives from the Florida and Tennessee Departments of Education.
There is no stopping the destructive train barreling into the destruction of public education teaching. It is so embedded into our state and federal governments with vast amounts of money and lobbying twisting the tale so Wall Street investors and hedge fund managers can make tons of money. I’ve been warning everyone about this for almost two years now, with each new initiative becoming more insidious than the next. But far too many people either just don’t care or think all of this is really great for students, teachers, and schools.
The Seminar will be led by Karen Cator with Digital Promise. While putting this under the guise of professional development for teachers, it is becoming more than obvious this is the future of education. Or at least what the corporate education reformers want it to be. Parents need to wake up fast because their children’s personal data is going out like the Hoover Dam just burst wide open. There is nothing holding it in check anymore. This is the future with hints thrown all over the place:
- The Data Consortium
- The Tentacles Of Corporate Education Reform
- The Marc Tucker Letter To Hillary Clinton
- Assessment Inventories And Data Bills
- Social Impact Bonds
- Delaware State Rep. Earl Jaques, Governor Markell, & John King
The future is here. Opt out is the only way to stop the whole reform movement designed to put children in the same box and carve out their future career paths. Opt out is the best recourse. It prevents the massive amount of data about your child from falling into the greedy little hands of Education Inc. Only parents can stop this train. We can’t rely on anyone but ourselves. The “stakeholders” who are supposed to serve as the guardians of the gate are hand-picked by those with the power. It is all a lie. Our legislators who truly care are outnumbered. Our state Departments of Education are stacked with ed reformer employees. Most of our Governors are all in on these “career pathways”. The national PTAs, teacher unions, and civil rights groups are all in bed with the Every Student Succeeds Act knowing full well the dangers that lurk within. Our school boards are infiltrated by those who wish to continue the corporate education reform movement. Teachers, for the most part, are powerless for fear of retribution or getting fired. No child in public education is safe anymore unless parents rally and take back the conversation. We need to do this as a unified front. We need to do this en masse. We need to do it now. We need to be the heroes and be a warrior for education. We need to cut them off at the knees and the most powerful way to do that is with opt out.