Saturday, November 30, 2013

Askin' Ain't Gettin'

Given the makeup of far too many school districts and the tendency for them to promote the least talented people into administration, thanks to talented teachers wanting to remain teachers, you get outrageous instances like this:

Words cannot express all that is wrong with the idea that a school leader would threaten to call CPS on a parent who opts their child out of state testing, and that it would even be brought up in a speech to parents at a PTA event. Over the 19 years I have been in education, I have seen CPS visit students who were being neglected, sexually and physically abused, or living in deplorable conditions. CPS has more important work to do then maintain Martial Law on parents who opt their children out of testing. Unfortunately, there have been situations where principals have threatened to call CPS on parents who choose to opt out their children out of testing.

In an e-mail correspondence from April of 2012, a principal from Oceanside Union Free School District told a parent who wanted to keep her child home during the testing period that,

"If without medical justification, Joseph is absent from school on any day during the Assessment period, the District will deem this absence as unexcused. Further, if you keep Joseph home from school during the Assessment period, without medical verification, it is within the District's discretion to deem these absences as indication of educational neglect, which would leave the District little choice but to contact Child Protective Services ("CPS")."

There's another word for this, and it is called blackmail.

CPS is only for crimes against children, including neglect, not for threatening parents because of fucking stupid standardized tests.

As sincere as the call is for capable school "leaders," this is not likely ever to happen because principals aren't held accountable for their actions, and it is often unfit people who get those jobs in the first place.

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