The information in this article will help to equip parents and teachers to take back control of the education of their students from the elitists in D.C. Time to roll up your sleeves!
MAP is a computer-based test that was designed as a tool for progress monitoring students in both math and literacy. This is the High Stakes Test that the district also utilizes for our teacher evaluations. It is completely developmentally inappropriate and does not provide valid data in the early childhood domaine.
Two teachers from Skelly Elementary in Tulsa, Oklahoma refuse to administer the MAP and Student Surveys. Nikki Jones and Karen Hendren have put their stellar careers in education on the line to do what is right for their students and their families. Hendren and Jones wrote an open letter “To the Families of the Children in our Classrooms” and should be a model for teachers across the land. They have bravely encouraged parents to Opt Out of testing due to the age inappropriate nature of the testing described in the letter.
This is a segment from the letter. The fact that these teachers are risking their careers to protect First graders should get your blood boiling. From the letter (emphasis mine):
“Education is about finding the deeper meaning. Education is about acting upon curiosity and utilizing creative attributes to figure something out. Education is about highlighting multiple intelligences and valuing uniqueness. Education is not squelching. Education is not standardization. We realize that we are just two teachers in a sea of many. In being conscientious objectors to these two items, we realize we are a number, just like the students in our classroom where the SDE is concerned. We realize that we are jeopardizing our jobs. But, if keeping our jobs means harming children and squelching them during a prime developmental span, then we want no part. When we walked across the stage and accepted our diplomas, when we received certifications from the state to teach, when we signed contracts with TPS, when we represented the model for early childhood education for the nation, when we accepted awards and recognition, we simultaneously accepted responsibility to uphold ethical practices and do what is in the best interest of children. The SDE has robbed us of our ethics. They are robbing children of their educational liberties.”
Mentioned in their letter, and something that can be used in other states, is HB1384. Thanks to the hard work of Tracey Montgomery of ParentalRights.org and Oklahoma legislators, and lead author Representative Sally Kern, they got HB1384 passed. That bill can be found here: http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=hb1384&Session=1400
By the way–don’t ever be afraid to talk to your State Representatives. As a matter of fact, they should know you by your first name. That’s why we are a Union of States.
Nikki Jones and Karen Hendren are the type of caring and creative teachers who we desperately need to keep in public education if we ever hope to restore it. They are also the type of teachers that the pioneers of Common Core are getting rid of.
So please help us spread the word, and take a stand as a parent or as an educator. One important way you can do this is to (politely) email the school of teachers Nikki Jones and Karen Hendren and ask the principal, Kristy Tatum at [email protected] to commend them for their stand as they hope to keep their jobs. Your encouraging emails to this principal, who is also a caring educator but is stuck in the power struggle of it all, could give her what she needs to be able to stand with these teachers.
One parent in Owasso, Oklahoma got the word out by passing out flyers to other moms in the after school pickup line. Be creative! Stop Common Core and stop this invasive and damaging testing. So today, send an encouraging email to Principal Kristy; it will take you 5 minutes max! And say a prayer for our educators.
Let the courage of these two teachers be an inspiration to parents and teachers in every state until we push back this oligarchy of elitists that want to push parents out of the equation in their own children’s education.
You do not hand over custody of your child from 8:00 to 3:30; you employ a school to assist you in your child’s learning experience. You, the parent, are responsible for making sure your child gets the best possible education. Opt out. They’ll say you can’t – it’s part of the drill – but you can.
Step up. Support the educators that want to assist you, the parent, and are willing to face the giants with you.