In his latest article, Mr. Bill Duncan of the state Board of Education, argues that the opt-out movement is selfish and interferes with the state’s ability to improve public education. Essentially, he states that parents must subjugate their children’s welfare for the state’s interests. This is very revealing about Duncan’s views about parents and the role of the state in public education.
This position turns accountability on its head. While public schools should be accountable to taxpayers and parents, the statewide assessments use children as the tool for accountability to the state and tramples parents’ rights in the process.
The opt-out movement is growing across the country and New Hampshire.
- The Union Leader reported on March 29, 2015 that Manchester received 531 parental refusals for the statewide assessments.
- Thousands of New York students have refused the assessment tests.
- As of early March 2015, thousands of New Jersey students refused participation in their assessments.
- 62% of students in a small WI town opted out of their assessments.
- More than half the juniors of an affluent CA community opted out of their assessment tests.
- Hundreds of New Mexico high-schoolers walked out of their tests in March 2015
- In November 2014, more than 5,000 Colorado high school students refused to participate in their assessments.
Children have one shot at their K-12 education and it is a parent’s right to direct their child’s education. That includes the right to refuse their child’s participation in statewide assessments. The state’s interests do not supersede the individual’s. Parents may have any number of reasons for refusing their child’s participation, but ultimately it is a parent’s right.