In the past few months, the idea of resisting as protest to a range of policies and ideas has populated headlines, Twitter streams, and even in-person conversations. One of the ways that I’m resisting destructive changes to a vital but much maligned institution is by “opting out” my children from the New York State ELA and Mathematics Assessments. I choose to resist the ranking and sorting of children through impersonal instruments that perpetuate an unfair and unequal system.
My decision is based on the best interests of all children in New York State, not just my own. By opting out, I am not protesting against the schools my children attend, the work that their teachers do to provide a rich and rigorous education, or even the impulse by the government to collect data on student performance. For me, this decision is not informed by concerns about my children’s performance or the impulse to protect them from the rigors of a developmentally inappropriate test; it goes beyond the personal to the political and to my understanding of the ways that acceptance of this assessment and accountability system are negatively impacting schools and teachers across New York.
Here it is in the middle of March and Betsy DeVos has been on the job for about two months. Some questioned whether a woman with no real work experience let alone experience working in the education field could actually handle the responsibilities that come with being the Secretary of Education.
Question: Is Betsy DeVos really as bad as we thought?