Steinhauer demands that Hespe retract opt-out threat
Published on Thursday, April 23, 2015
NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer today demanded that Education Commissioner David Hespe retract his threat to withhold state aid from districts where parents followed their conscience and refused PARCC testing for their children.
“This is a deeply disappointing development,” said Steinhauer. “It is clear that the Department of Education is distressed that parents across the state have turned against its efforts to impose more and more harmful and unnecessary high-stakes standardized tests on their children.
“But threats and intimidation are utterly inappropriate,” Steinhauer said. “The Department needs to listen to parents, not threaten their children’s schools. It should stop attacking parents with their own tax dollars.
“This is yet another reason why we are urging the New Jersey Senate to pass S-2767, which would give parents an explicit right to refuse to let their children take the PARCC tests,” he said. The Assembly version of the bill passed by a vote of 72-0 earlier this year. Steinhauer also encouraged Congress to de-emphasize high-stakes standardized testing in its re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which has been the driver of much of the national testing mania.