Response to MSDE’s anti-parent stand on MSA opt out

MarylandMap2

March 7, 2014

After the MSDE distributed a letter to local school boards, linked here, advising them not to cooperate with parental requests to opt out of the MSA testing, parents responded with phone calls and emails of disagreement to the state board.

Henry Johnson, MSDE Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Assessment & Accountability, replied with the following letter to several parents, printed in its entirety. The letter carefully addresses the issue of “opting out” of curriculum by quoting the MSDE’s opinion on a Missouri ruling on dress code.

There are several problems with Mr. Johnson’s carefully crafted rebuttal to parents:

  1. The MSA is not curriculum, nor does it test on the curriculum that is being taught in Maryland schools. Rather, parents want less testing and more instruction.
  2. Parents are not requesting an “opt out” of the MSDE’s obligation to assess students inclusively. They are simply refusing the test. No law is required to grant parents a right to refuse, as no law requires a child to take the assessment. If there were such a law, it would be unenforceable, as the schools can hardly force a pencil into a child’s hand and make him take the test. Unenforceability would render such a law all but null and void.
  3. The COMAR regulations that Mr. Johnson cites are examples of the MSDE allowing the school system to not teach curriculum on sex ed at parent’s request. COMAR regs are passed solely by the Maryland State Board of Education and are not subject to legislative review. Therefore, the MSDE has the undeniable ability to change their regulations to retract the school system’s obligation to administer the MSA, either across the board or only upon parental request.

Mr. Johnson further directs parents to work with their schools to resolve the issue, indicating that the resolution is a decision of the local school, rather than the MSDE.

This harkens the MSDE’s shirking of parent questions during the Common Core “forums” when they told parents to ask questions at their local schools. So once again, the MSDE and Superintendent Lowery are running from problems that the schools and principals are left to deal with. The MSA testing which began this week is putting teachers, students, and principals on the frontline while Superintendent Lowery remains mounted on her steed at the crest of a far-off hill.

The one mistake some parents are making is asking for permission, in the form of “opt out” for something for which the MSDE should be asking forgiveness. Just send your child to school while REFUSING the test. >>> Read more Examiner

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Dr. Lillian M. Lowery Maryland State Superintendent  of schools (Pictured above) has been criticized for showing very poor leadership skills in various ways including discriminatory conduct. She has received an F grade for Common Core meetings and other reform implementations in Maryland so far. Above all, she does not believe in the due process of the law and continues to contribute to the culture of impunity. 

Dukes

In our opinion, We aver and therefore believe Maryland State Board of Education President Dr. Charlene Dukes (shown here) has demonstrated a culture of corrupt leadership style and continues “an integrated pattern of pay to play,”  High suspension rates, violation of due process rights, manipulation inter alia during her tenure as President for Maryland State Board of Education.

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