High Stakes Tests as Forced Intellectual Labor?

In this recent story we read:

Tracy and Mary Finney thought they were meeting with the principal at West Side Elementary in Marietta, Georgia, this morning to discuss their choice to opt out of Standardized State Testing for their children. Instead, they were met by a police officer who told the Finney’s that their decision to “oppose something the school is trying to do” is considered “kind of a trespassing situation.”

“I certainly didn’t wake up this morning thinking I was going to meet with police at my children’s school,” said Tracy Finney, father of 9-year-old and 11-year-old students attending West Side Elementary.

This raises a few questions: does a state authority have the right to force, by way of law enforcement officers, children to perform intellectual work, in this case, a state-mandated standardized test? While attendance laws have a long history, I’m not aware of those laws being interpreted to legalize the use of force against students and their families to compel students to perform academic work. Up to this point, children and families across the U.S. and in New York State have faced harassment and punishment for opting out of required state tests, but I am not aware of any instance where police were deployed to force students to actually take a test. This is forced intellectual labor, and it raises political, legal and social issues the importance of which goes far beyond the questionable policy of high-stakes testing.

4 Comments High Stakes Tests as Forced Intellectual Labor?

  1. megan corcoran April 18, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    spreading the link now……

  2. Laci April 18, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    ” but I am not aware of any instance where police were deployed to force students to actually take a test” And we will not have prof of this if the schools are on Lock Down. This happen during Testing Week

    I believe we will see more lock downs, it is going to get worse if more people do not rise up and say enough to save the children. Just imagine if school in lock down parents can not get to kids to help them, if the kids are trying to refuse test and stand up to bullying.

  3. Meg Norris April 18, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Sadly teachers and administrators are using their positions of authority to force children to take these tests. Many use pizza or ice cream parties to threaten perfect attendance. Parents of sick children are called to bring their kids in to test. Parents who use their parental rights to opt out of testing see their children punished by missing out on parties. Children are so afraid of failing the test anything their parent says is ignored. Children are convinced the teachers or school will suffer if they do not take and pass the tests. This is bullying. It is abusive and it needs to stop. I was a teacher who walked away to fight. I have all the respect in the world for teachers, but they know as well as anyone, that these methods are wrong.

  4. Lenora April 18, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    It is sad that so many do not realize that the schools are not out there for the “good” of their children. My mother taught school for years, and SHE started seeing a lot of bad things going on years before she retired and that was over ten years ago. ( I honestly don’t remember how long ago it was but it was over ten years ago). She is now a HUGE advocate of homeschooling and getting your child OUT of the system for so many reasons.

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