Child Labor in U.S. Schools?

I think Dr. Stephanie Jones’ Child Labor in the U.S. is very appropriate to reblog in light of events in Marietta, Georgia. a couple has refused to allow their children at the West Marietta Elementary school to take the high-stakes Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT). These parents informed the school’s principal two days prior to the testing period that their third and fifth graders would not bee taking the CRCT. When they arrived at school to meet with the principal at a prearranged meeting to discuss what activities were planned for their students in lieu of the CRCT, they were instead met by a Marietta police officer who asked them if their kids were going to take the CRCT. When they said no, the officer told them they would have to leave the school property otherwise they could be arrested for trespassing. The initial response that these parents received from the school was a threat to them and their children. They were told that all students must take the CRCT, or face the consequences. They were also told that this would risk their older child from going on an overnight field trip.

The Associate Superintendent of Marietta was quoted said this in its email reply to the family:

The District must deny your request that your students be exempt from participation in the CRCT or other standardized testing as well as reporting and recording of such scores. Federal and state law mandate the administration of these assessments. It is important for you to understand the potential consequences of electing not to participate in such nationally and state-required assessments.

But these parents are to be supported for standing their ground. Here is what the parents said in reply to the Superintendent, Assoc. Superintendent, and Principal of West Marietta Elementary School:

I believe that there was a MAJOR misunderstanding in what I communicated in my email Sunday night/Monday morning.
In no way, shape, or form, did either my wife or I ask for anyone to give us permission. What I said was that WE REFUSE to allow our children to be given the CRCT Test. I do not require permission to refuse something.
Yet the response stated that, “The District must deny your request that your students be exempt from participation in the CRCT or other standardized testing…”
Once again… I did not “request” anything. I told you that my children would not participate.
I have read most of the Federal and State laws concerning this test, and there is nothing in the verbiage that states that the Rights of the Parents are declared void in the process of implementing the CRCT Testing. If I missed the point where we cease to be parents, I would like you to point those out to me.

It is in the context of the Marietta CRCT incident that I reblog her article here.

Stop the CRCT Madness!

Thanks to the AJC for publishing my op-ed essay about merit pay, high-stakes testing, and child labor.

Here it is!

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2 thoughts on “Child Labor in U.S. Schools?

  1. Thank you for reblogging this! Yes, we are definitely engaged in child labor and somehow some schools have decided that they have more power over individual children than the parents of those individual children.

    I saw this story about the Marietta fiasco and it is truly unbelievable.

    However, this whole thing could literally topple over if more people would be courageous enough to “refuse” the test, then “demand” the appeals process to ensure that their children get promoted to the next grade level (at least in the 3, 5, 8 grades when the tests are high-stakes).

    Perhaps these brave Marietta folks will be the beginning of something big…

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