Monday, April 4, 2016

"My Assistant Principal Is Telling Parents It's Illegal to Opt Out"

Has anyone else heard this from a fellow Buffalo teacher? 
Our Assistant Principal is telling parents that it's illegal to Opt Out of testing. 
Or: I work with some teachers who are encouraging parents and kids to take the tests? 

While I understand in recent years we've been browbeaten and cowed by NYSUT's Office of Politeness and Etiquette not to speak out on Refusal and not to encourage parents and kids to engage in the annual April Foolishness, I'd say the time has long past for teachers to be working against themselves and for administrators to be flat out lying to parents.

Last year in a bit of semi-hilarious Paladinoesque farce, one of City Hall's dimmer administrator bulbs was accused of barring an Opt Out activist parent from school grounds. And in classic Carl overreaction mode he used a lawyer from his own office as an intermediary who messaged the Principal in question on Ellicott Development letterhead instead of addressing the issue himself with a Board of Ed identifier. Simple point that was buried in the ensuing pinata explosion of stupid was that a board member actually sought to address the illegal actions of an administrator who'd given an Opt Out parent the boot from school property. 

In "the schools our kids deserve" as NYSUT is so fond of saying these days, this is as it should be. Anyone -- teacher or administrator or Chief Stenographer for that matter-- who tells parents and or kids they do not have the legal right to Refuse NY State Testing should be disciplined with the same rigor the board is using to go after the 5 teachers from Riverside who've been put on leave for following the accepted protocol on Regents exams. Nobody has the right to lie to kids and or parents and if they do they need to answer for it. In a more subtle shade of reality, any teacher who somehow attained the requisite certification to teach in New York State, yet is so lacking in basic common sense that he actually encourages parents and kids to participate in meaningless tests whose true function is to facilitate the firing of him and his colleagues should be told immediately by and and all of his fellows to STFU. That done he should further consider a livelihood in the vast network of corporate ed reform where his true leanings will be fully appreciated. 

Simple facts folks: Nothing has changed. All the same bullshit Cuomo wedged into last year's budget about receivership is STILL IN THERE. And all of the punitive nonsense he stuffed into last year's budget about using these test scores to punish teachers IS STILL IN THERE. So unless you're a moron and or a drooling masochist you have no incentive to encourage kids and or parents to participate in the test and punish Russian Roulette that is New York State Testing. As a professional who should by now be tired of being scapegoated, harassed, micromanaged and bullied by jerkoffs like Cuomo and his charter school pals -- who, incidentally reaped another windfall in this year's budget bonanza -- you have every reason to be non compliant in pimping the tests to the unwitting who actually think "it's not good to teach kids to avoid a challenge..." When you hear bullshit like that you need to be ON IT and capable of explaining how REFUSAL is meeting a challenge on a higher plane,  and is not teaching kids to AVOID IT. 

To steal a phrase from our esteemed ally Professor Andrea Nikischer: Civil Disobedience is a far better lesson than blind obedience. 

1 comment:

  1. Even more sinister is when an administrator calls an English Language Learner's parent, who has limited English, and scares them back into allowing their child take the test. The parents were made to believe that their kid would lose out on educational opportunities, such as getting into the high school of their choice!