Boyer Expected To Deny Parental Opt Out Rights

This year parents, teachers, and taxpayers have seen firsthand the utter contempt in which the State’s leaders hold them as they develop academic standards, and education-related statutes. House Education Committee chair Paul Boyer, and members of State Board of Education have taken, or have threatened to take action that clearly demonstrates their disregard for teachers, parents and students.

Last week, Boyer made it very clear that he does not recognize parental authority over their children, when he advised constituents that he would not allow HB2056, (opt out bill) to be heard in his committee. In defense of his staunch opposition to parental rights, as embodied in HB2056, Boyer claimed that individual rights must be sacrificed so that the taxpayers can have “the only real measure of accountability” for public education.

He also made the outrageous claim that “it’s possible students could graduate high school without a single assessment.” Not only is that scenario highly unlikely, it is difficult to understand why it “isn’t helpful for the student.”

According to an article in the Washington Post, “A three-year national study of colleges that do not require applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores found only “trivial” differences in the college graduation rates or the cumulative grade point average of students between those who do and those who do not send in their standardized test results.”
If the tests are not needed for college admission, what use are they really? In the case of AZMerit, they could not have informed teachers on what areas of study need more work because the results came out too late to make meaningful adjustments. In reality, few schools use the results of high stakes tests to adjust instruction. If the results are not helping students and teachers they are wholly unnecessary if that is truly the goal of forcing assessments.

Boyer tried to assuage constituents by offering them a bone supplied by the chambers of commerce, That bone is legislation that would give parents, who are demanding that they be allowed to opt their children out from standardized testing, a menu of standardized tests from which to choose.

That is not choice at all. However, Boyer has the support from the chambers for his refusal to support parents. That support comes in the form of money; something parents don’t have these days.

It is more than money that relegates parents to their second-class status. It is a fundamental misunderstanding by power brokers of parents and the purpose of public education.

Ignoring homeschooled children, and in what can only be described as a condescending tone to all other interested parties the members of the Arizona Standards Development Committee discussed who exactly was the “audience” for standards. In other words, they debated who needed to understand the State’s standards and why.

In 2016, the discussion was truly remarkable. It was long ago determined that public education was for the public, and the standards that govern what is – and what is not taught – was considered a matter for the public. With the advent of Common Core, that changed. Parents are no longer considered partners, and corporations are the primary beneficiaries of the end product; not the students.

What was striking about the discussion was the blatant disrespect shown to anyone that did not have an MED or PhD in their title. Chair Scott Leska, member of the Amphitheater Unified Governing Board, sat quietly as one “educator” lectured on the complexities of linear algebra, and the reasons why parents and taxpayers could never understand why math is taught the way it is before advising the “educator” that he and his wife are both engineers and have owned an engineering firm for years. His statement was met with embarrassed silence.

What could be said? The “educators” said it all: ‘you people are simply too simple to understand what we do.’

The problem with the premise is that it is faulty. And we know that if your premise is faulty, all that follows is likely problematic too.

The truth is that the vast majority of taxpayers and parents are not too simple to understand. Now, they understand clearly that politicians, who claim to value the family, do not, and educators, who claim to serve the public, serve the chambers.

4 Comments

  1. I hope we can hold each and every one of our elected representatives accountable for the decisions they make that adversely affect the Lives and Futures of Arizona’s Children!

    If just one person in every LD for every one of those who do not do the right thing for our children will step-up and run to unseat them, we can take our State Legislature back! For our Children, For Liberty and for the Great State of Arizona!!!

  2. AZ prides itself on rebuffing the Feds on their unconstitutional demands. Is it because it’s the right thing to do OR is because AZ wants to be the power player.

    Parents are in charge of their kids and our rights don’t end at the parking lot of the school building. Already I can’t find a school without Common Core or its influence. So that part of “school choice” is empty promise.

    Testing choice will likely be an empty promise too.

    The Feds promised through ESSA that states get to decide what the testing is and how much weight to give it through metrics.

    Funny…this is what the state was always supposed to do as education is a state issue. BUT…we still have the Race to the Top funded tests that were put in place over the past few years. The Federal piece is still very much in play.

    Parents are the ultimate authority over their kids. If I don’t want my kid to take a particular test like AzMERIT or the NAEP test…guess what….the world doesn’t stop spinning. Why on earth do we think kids need to be tested as much as they are?

    Who’s in charge of kids—the Feds—the State–the Parents?

    We are losing sight of the purpose of education and why testing exists. More and more it lines the pockets of test writers and data collectors. Why pay for a test, take a test, and never see the answers to the test and then only get a numerical score months later?

    Does Rep Boyer or state of AZ guarantee my kid a great career or college entrance because my kid took a “test” each year? No. I get no guarantee or accountability for what the test purports to predict.

    Boyer says testing is for “accountability” to tax payers. Which ones? Test sellers?

  3. The irony of it all is that many of the Standards Development Committee Members representing “education” expertise, were abysmally incapable of comprehending the simple direction given to the State Board by Governor Ducey last March 23rd. What is so difficult about: Review every Common Core standard and immediately recommend replacement of any that do not meet Arizona’s needs?

    I guess they’re just too smart to understand the simplicity of what they were tasked to do.

    One of them, Dr. Mari Koerner made a profound statement when the committee was getting deep in the weeds of, Are standards the “How” or the “What” of the matter? She assured her colleagues that “Simplicity equals Clarity,” and if you have clarity then you have simplicity. Ahh, so that’s how it works!

    Sadly, they were not able to put that simple concept into practice to give them clarity to find the simplicity in the task before them.

    And, the scary part is, these people are responsible for the “education” of Arizona’s Children. . . . Or should I say, “instruction,” or training—there IS a big difference, and therein lies the reason we have a state superintendent of public “instruction!

    Even scarier is the fact that there was simplicity in the clarity of the situation: those “educators” are invested in the goals of the Common Core Agenda. How can we even hope that they will suddenly achieve new clarity and embrace the simplicity of the task: GET RID OF COMMON CORE!?

    But, the governor never said “Get rid of Common Core.” He always said he would get people together to study and decide what to do. Problem is, if the wolf is inside your home, you don’t sit-down at the kitchen table and discuss terms with him to get him to leave. Unless you really aren’t that concerned that he’s going to eat your family and yourself!

    NOTE: I have never agreed with Governor Ducey’s “directive” to Review & Replace the Common Core Standards one standard at a time. He does not have the constitutional authority to issue such a directive. Further, it is a very strange way of ridding our Great State of the scourge called Common Core

    The time they take to complete the process represents every school day every public school pupil in Arizona is forced to go to school and be brainwashed and indoctrinated with the Common Core Agenda!

    And, every day is another day every pupil is being deliberately reduced to the lowest common denominator.

    But, since our governor issued the directive, and the state board and the legislature accepted it, it’s time to do what they say and get the job done! (The latter body confirmed three board nominees in a Dog & Pony Show in which everyone sang the praises of the governor’s most-wonderful directive!)

    DO WHAT YOU SAY, Governor, Members of the Board, State Senators, Members of the Standards Committee, and GET IT DONE!

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