End of Day 2-Big Day Tomorrow

This letter below was written from me, this evening May 15, 2013.  It is written to my daughter’s school principal.  My letter is in response to being told, once again, that my daughter is legally barred from attending schools  on a test day, when she refuses to submit to the MSL test.
(Principal),

My daughter, who is a registered student at her local middle school, will be attending school during the MSLs on Thursday 5/16/13.  She will sit in silence and/or read through the duration of the MSL. 

Just like with the removal of any student, you will need to provide a pretty darn good reason for doing so.  If it isn’t illness, or behavior unbecoming, or loud outbursts…I can see no reason why my very well behaved daughter will be leaving school early.

If you intend on sending her home early, I will come and pick her up as soon as you can produce a signed and notarized copy of the law that is written that says you must have her tested AND ALSO states a provision that the student can be forced to leave campus if they refuse to take the test.  Before you ask me to break the law again by forcing my daughter to stay home, I am compelled to obey the law and comply with her being at school on a school day.  There is, after all, a Compulsory Attendance Law.  Please refer to NC GS 115C-378, which I am positive, supercedes whatever your district lawyer is adhering to.

She will be at school because there is no law written that supports your actions.  You have invented an enforcement that is not written anywhere and honestly…you are not free to interpret the law…nor is a lawyer…they can only advise based upon precedent.  If you look at precedence alone, I challenge you and the board to produce a single NC case where a child was removed, “legally” from school due to objections to participating in an MSL. 
I will take this into action with a lawyer.  I am already in contact with the ACLU, though I most assuredly do not want to go in that direction, but you are barring my daughter from attending school. What else can I do?
The strangest part is that you are a public school figure, a guardian of the public trust, to educate and nurture young minds…and yet here you are fighting to keep a student off campus.  I don’t know how you ended up defending a law that harms education and public trust in schools. Ironically, Zoe is trying to make things better for you and for schools, not worse.
Please feel free to contact me during the day once you have signed and notarized proof that you have the legal authority to bar my daughter from campus and I will come and pick up my daughter.  My number is __________.

thanks,
Charlie

At 11:30 at night, as a single hard working parent…I have to say that I am definitely thinking how bizarre this whole thing is.  I really and truly do have better uses of my time.  Yet here I am actually having to tell a Principal of a school to NOT kick my daughter out of classes.  And the haunting thing about it is that I look behind the argument and catch a glimpse of something much worse.  Because when you scratch under the surface of the Common Core and when you read about who created it and why it exists..and when you understand data tracking…it is no great leap to believe as well that they want us to not trust schools…they want parent’s to feel that public schools are failing them.  In short, they want this argument to happen.  What better way to do achieve this end then to lobby to get crap laws passed that once enforced, will set the public against public schools?  Saddling beleaguered and underfunded administrations to enforce them, under threat of losing their jobs is honestly a dream come true for anyone who wants schools to fail.  And NC is a right to fire state.  Unions for teachers are illegal here.  I don’t blame this Principal.  I have to argue with her though, in some fashion, or I am not supporting my daughter.  The thing I can’t fathom though, is how people can create a system that is designed to remove true education and quality learning…and get away with it.

I do know that if you are reading this and you are arguing with your local administration, just know this…it can be a good place to start, a necessary battle.  But as long as we are doing battle with our schools, Pearson Publishing and poor federal governance (DOE) is escaping the much needed focus.  Quality learning will only return when schools, teachers, parents and students are all on the same page in overturning the current paradigm.

When people now ask me why I am against Common Core, I like to show them pages from school texts like this one…from the 5th Grade.  Please click and expand the image and read the questions.  This is from a classroom…please ask yourself what import the questions mean and who would benefit from the answers.  Folks…this is serious stuff they are getting away with…

Page from 5th grade Common Core workbook.

Page from 5th grade Common Core workbook.

The newest Common Core tests that were taken in NY?…Below are a few references that were included right there in the test packets for students, worked into the questions…writes, 8th grader, Isaiah Schrader, in New York:

The “busboy” passage in the eighth grade test I took was fictional, written about a dishwasher at a pizza restaurant. In it, the busboy neglects to notice a large puddle of root beer under a table that he clears. His irate employer notifies him about the mess, and he cleans it up. It seems alright at first glace. However, the root beer was referred to at one point as Mug™ Root Beer. It was followed by a footnote, which informed test-takers that Mug™ was a registered trademark of PepsiCo. The brand of soda, the type of soda, and, come to think of it, the exact beverage was not necessary to the development of the story, nor was it mentioned in any of the confusing and analytical questions following the passage.

Non-fictional passages in the test I took included an article about robots, where the brands IBM™, Lego®, FIFA® and Mindstorms™ popped up, each explained with a footnote.  I cannot speak for all test takers, but I found the trademark references and their associated footnotes very distracting and troubling.” (Source:http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2013/05/common-core-testing-creating-new.html)

I don’t know what else to say except that before any of this happened I really didn’t know anything about the Common Core, except that I didn’t feel good about teachers teaching to the test.  When you look at it closely enough though, it looks back at you, and how you feel when it does, shows you something about humanity that makes you want to take a shower.

peace,Charlie and Zoe

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3 thoughts on “End of Day 2-Big Day Tomorrow

  1. This year I investigated opting my 5th-grader out of our tests in Maryland. In the end we decided not to – this year (next year may be another story LOL) – but we found some like-minded people in the process.

    Our principal did explain to us, when we opted her at least out of a practice test, that if a child is in school, the school at this point is supposedly legally required to administer the test, even the practice test. Since I was off work the day of the practice test anyway, we kept our daughter home that morning and then brought her in, but keeping her out of school for the entire 2-week testing period PLUS the makeup days would have been onerous. Additionally, knowing that a teacher’s and a principal’s job is on the line made it very hard on my daughter; she doesn’t want someone else to suffer, no matter how much she hates the tests. “They” have us by the short hairs and they know it.

    Next year she’ll be going to a much larger school and we will be more likely to insist on opting her out, as the impact on total school scores will be much less. Good luck with this fight! And keep us posted on what the lawyer(s) say(s)!

  2. Charlie, I must admit I find the whole situation baffling. While I was in public school for but a short few years as an English teacher, I had no less than three students refuse to take the EOG tests, but the difference lie in their reasoning. The objection on their part was simple refusal, not well-orchestrated and supported civil disobedience based on personal beliefs. Best of luck today, and following with great interest.

  3. This is being implemented now, and I think September for a boycott may be too late. CC is in the curriculum and is more than just tests. My 4th grader stayed home on the day the “cool, it’s on a computer” text was given. There was no make up test, I verified before taking him out.
    We will be homeschooling, cc is being implemented in homeschool curriculum as well, I will do my best to support homeschool resources which do not explicitly align, and I will buy textbooks printed before 2010, if I must. But there is a bigger picture than just what I do with my child or you do with yours, we will have a very poorly educated generation of millions of kids in 15 years, some of which will be making the laws.

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