School Grades Trump Parental Rights

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Today’s the day the Utah school report card is released.  The Utah legislature, dominated by the Republican Party, voted overwhelmingly to force students to take the state/national assessments by putting a 95% cap on how many must, in order for that school to get a good grade.

Todd WeilerOne of the more outspoken legislators is Senator Todd Weiler.  Here is his post defending the right of the legislature and the school to compel such a testing system where truly “No Child Left Behind” is the desired result.

Here is my reply:

I don’t want to have a spitting match about test questions or standards or whose are better or worse. The principles and philosophies to which those who have influenced and who are in controlling positions over the tests (e.g. College Board, AP, SAT, ACT), is a monopoly. No one can get into an accredited college or university without taking one of those tests (GED included).

In concept, why should a parent who does not want their child to take these tests because they are controlled by a philosophy of education they oppose – e.g. educating for the workforce – managed and controlled by government (Dept. of Labor – statistics and workforce tracking through government-run databases), be forced to do so? Whether state or national, the test-writers and curriculum writers are all aligned with workforce management.

How does the legislature plan to protect their parental rights, given the fact that a school now gets a failing grade (or demerit?) if 95% of the school’s students don’t take it? Oh and that includes the supposedly outside-the-box schools, Charters, most of whom do not allow the taxpayers who fund them to have a vote on that school’s board, and many are state-run anyway. How is that “school choice” and “local control?”

And for that matter, could someone here explain where this idea originated? Is there any historical precedent of a school system whose government tracked students into a managed workforce? (This is not a trick question.)

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