I am sharing because I believe doing so strengthens others.
My email to the Ed Committee about HB420.
Dear Members of the Ohio House Education Committee,
I am writing in response to Amended HB420. The proposal to criminalize what should be in the realm of free speech and academic freedom for Ohio’s educators is misguided at best.
I am not sure exactly when it happened, but it does appear that many legislators lack trust in our educators. Instead of trusting the judgement and discernment of educators as professionals, this proposal hamstrings the very work they dedicate their lives to doing. It is their job to educate. It is their job to put the well-being of their students above all else. These are the very people who should be advocating for whatever their students may need, up to and including the refusing of any standardized test.
Educators should not have to choose between doing the job they were called to do and maintaining their livelihood. It is counterintuitive to suggest that stifling educators will somehow enrich or further the goals of their students. The work of teaching and learning is relational.
I find it ironic that during the week in which school choice is being celebrated nationwide, this body is entertaining legislation that undermines parents’ ability to choose whether or not their child(ren) will participate in standardized tests.
As a professional educator, I understand the fine line I must walk within the walls of my classroom or otherwise in my contractual time. But beyond those hours, I am quite active in a number of education organizations. I give my personal time because I love my profession and I love my students. I firmly stand behind any parent who chooses to refuse standardized tests for their child(ren).
I am asking you to trust in my professionalism, and that of my colleagues. I am asking you to respect the decision of the parents who refuse testing. For whatever the reason.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter,