Thursday, March 27, 2014

True Parent Advocates, BRAVO!


Say whatever you will about Kyle and Jennifer Massey of Waco, they are two very engaged and savvy parents. They may not be engaged and savvy in the way that most educators want them to be, but they know what they want for their child and they intend to see that he gets it. Or should I say they know what they DON'T want for their child.

You see Kyle and Jennifer Massey don't want their child William to take the Texas state mandated STAAR test.

They wanted to opt their child out of taking the test. Waco ISD forwarded what they apparently considered a request to Texas Education Agency and received a reply which substantively suggested that Waco ISD doesn't have the authority to opt young William out of the test, so he would be given an alternative with some type of grading system...

Problem solved you say? Probably for some parent in some other Texas ISD, but not the Massey's. Read their reply...

What a sharp family! And Waco ISD is going to have to go some in order to get them to simply comply with this school (or state's) policy.

Here's what I know: Kyle and Jennifer Massey are showing what it is like to be their child's first and primary advocate. They are standing up for their son. That's what a parent is supposed to do. Secondly, I know that Kyle and Jennifer Massey are not relinquishing the role of parent to any system. They are very clear on what the role of a school is and what their role is and they are fulfilling that role to the fullest. Thirdly, I know that very few districts, if any have an alternative for the state mandated test and if more parents stood up for their children like Kyle and Jennifer Massey are standing up for young William, they would have to come up with one. The video embedded is of my friend, Dallas Morning News education reporter, Jeffery Weiss. But he is right, teaching how to take the test has gotten more important than teaching subject content. Don't let anyone tell you different! At some point more parents are going to have to engage TEA and other state education agencies like this, maybe through a class action lawsuit, in order for the districts to come up with more creative ways to prove that schools are doing their job.

For right now all I have to say is "BRAVO! Kyle and Jennifer, BRAVO!!

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