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Monday, September 28, 2015

Is Florida about to start arresting parents or forcing kids to leave school over opting out?

I ask because that seems to be where we are heading.

First look at what education chairman Marlene O'Toole said a couple weeks ago: "You're not allowed to do that (opt out) and keep your child in a public school," she said. "So if you want to have your child learn another way or do something different, you always have the option to take them (out). School boards should not be ... saying, Well, okay. There is no okay."

Then throw in what Kurt Browing, superintendent of Pasco county said, As much as Browning says he wants to see the system changed, he has yet to change his stance on opting out. He sent his message to parents in February that "There is no opt-out provision," and advised all employees in a memo around the same time, "At no time may a school or its staff encourage students to abstain from participating in the statewide tests."

The article above went on to talk about how students would be forced to sit during the testing time if they refused to take it but the state seems to be getting more and more militant and giving parents fewer options. Though one of the options as O'Toole pointed out is to take your kid and leave, perhaps to take a voucher where there is no test to take.

If it is illegal to opt out then there has to be a consequence for doing so, which is sad because during all the FSA problems districts routinely announced they had better ways to assess children than the test. A test which I remind everybody just prompted sixty-four of sixty-seven district 
superintendents to say they have lost confidence in the system.

It is becoming more and more apparent that the FSA is not being used as a tool to improve education but rather being used as one to bash it into submission.