Sen. Sylvia Allen spoke truth to power today on behalf of Arizona’s parents, teachers, and students when she addressed the Arizona Senate Committee of the Whole on SB1455, her opt out bill.
“We don’t have education for the Chamber of Commerce, we don’t have it for businesses, we don’t have it for all the people who make money off of education,” stated Allen. “Education is for the benefit of children and parents who have the right to direct that education. Our Congress made the statement this year,” referring to the opt out provision in the ESSA.
In a firm voice, Allen then read from the Arizona Parents’ Bill of Rights. ARS 1-60 reads:
1-601. Parents’ rights protected
A. The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children is a fundamental right.
B. This state, any political subdivision of this state or any other governmental entity shall not infringe on these rights without demonstrating that the compelling governmental interest as applied to the child involved is of the highest order, is narrowly tailored and is not otherwise served by a less restrictive means.
Allen then said she wanted to correct claims made by some that the federal government requires that 95 percent of Arizona school children must be tested. “I want to clarify, because we can determine how that 95 percent is assessed. That 95 percent should be 95 percent of the children eligible for testing. The children whose parents opt them out of testing are not eligible.”
“Sen. Sylvia Allen’s SB1455 reaffirms that parents, not the State, are the ultimate authority on health, safety, and educational matters concerning their children,” said Anita Christy, a concerned grand-parent who is dedicated to education issues. “Statewide assessments are among the most controversial and least effective methods of assessing a child’s educational progress. If parents across the country are opting their children out of statewide assessments, there’s a good reason. Several Red and Blue states have opt out provisions. Under ESSA, states and parents are allowed to opt students out of standardized testing.”
“Teachers are fully capable of differentiating instruction to meet the needs of each of their students. They are with their students several hours every day and know them well.” Christy concluded, “The tests that local teachers routinely give students are far more effective at determining a student’s progress than any statewide assessment.”
Supporters of parental rights, and opponents to high-stakes are encouraged to call or email your senators today and ask them to support SB1455:
|Sylvia Allen President Pro Tempore||6||Rfirstname.lastname@example.org||926-5409|
|Andy Biggs President||12||Remail@example.com||926-4371|
|Olivia Cajero Bedford||3||Dfirstname.lastname@example.org||926-5835|
|Lupe Contreras Minority Whip||19||Demail@example.com||926-5284|
|Steve Farley Asst Minority Leader||9||Dfirstname.lastname@example.org||926-3022|
|Gail Griffin Majority Whip||14||Remail@example.com||926-5895|
|Katie Hobbs Minority Leader||24||Dfirstname.lastname@example.org||926-5325|
|Martin Quezada Minority Leader||29||Demail@example.com||926-5911|
|Andrew C. Sherwood||26||Dfirstname.lastname@example.org||926-3028|
|Steve Yarbrough Majority Leader||17||Remail@example.com||926-5863|