With testing almost upon us, it is time for our leaders to step up and tell parents it is ok not to have their child take the test.  There is no law requiring parents not to opt out.  Furthermore, there is a law on the floor allowing for parents to have the right to opt out.  School boards across this state are considering measures in all 19 districts on whether or not to “encourage” the opting out of students from taking these tests….

It is time our elected officials do the same.  Parents need to know they will not be punished for opting out. The best way for that to occur, is for elected officials, in charge of deciding state law, to say this test is bullsh/t and all parents should not let their kids take it…

The best and most credible spokesperson to accomplish this is none other than Greg Lavelle.. His switched-vote last June 30th around 9:30 pm, was the deciding factor that allowed this test to go forward….  When he voted against it; the bill was defeated… minutes after getting a phone call from Gov. Markell he voted for it; it passed….

Greg Lavelle actually has children in the category who are hurt by this test.  All exceptional children will be grievously set back by this test.  This test goes against human nature.  When you have children who are flatly unable to meet regular adult standards, forcing them to try fully knowing the outcome, is cruel and inhumane.

Expressed this way it is clear.  Making children who will be playing soccer to run miles in order to build up stamina, may be deemed as cruel by some outside of sport, but it is often done and the children do grow stamina through the routine and develop new muscles.   But….. making children who have no legs be forced to run a mile, with no wheel chair, no artificial limbs, no accessories, is cruel and inhumane.

The Smarter Balanced Test, and this came directly out of the mouths of Mark Murphy and Penny Schwinn, is designed to not use accommodations for children with special needs.  “They want to see how bad they fail”, was the direct quote.

The humane measure of education would be to say:  let’s see where in society we can put these people so they can lead productive lives.  Mark Murphy, Penny Schwinn, Dave Sokola, and all those who voted in support of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, take the opposite tack:  let us see where in society these people can never fit in, by giving them a test they cannot possibly do well upon… like making Stumpy there run miles on his two tiny stumps. Betchu he won’t get two feet?

One philosophy brings out the best of human behavior; the other exposes the worst.

Now Greg has taken his own children at this point, laid them on the cross and bound their hands and feet to the wooden crossbars…. Right now, before the huge railroad spikes get driven in to their tiny hands and tiny feet, is the time for him to scream out:  “STOP!  This is a mistake.  We should not do this to children for any reason….. ”

Greg as the sole person who was first against the Smarter Balanced Assessment, and then was somehow persuaded to be for it, is the perfect human being to now stand up and say… “Wait, I was wrong. I was very wrong. I was lied to.  This is a terrible test… This ruins children including my children!  You all must opt out…”

For someone who has always been against this test to say “You all!  Opt out!” would be welcome but realistically would change little.  Those on the fence would say:  “There he goes again; he’s always been against the test; of course that is what he is going to say”…  But, for someone who was once on record for it in a very public way, to pivot, switch his support, and call for public action to boycott the test being taken, would send giant ripples through the state….

He has special children.  So with what we know from Penny Schwinn and Mark Murphy, we know in heart that both he and his wife have to be against it.

Greg Lavelle has confided to those who asked him what he was thinking last June, that he was told that the DOE was going forward with the test whether he voted for it or not… (Just like it is going forward with the privatization of 6 schools despite whatever policies the two districts came up with) …

Imagine if you are attacked by a bamboozler.  In the struggle you take away his gun.  Everyone cheers… Then he cries tears and complains that is his only gun, and how he needs it to shoot food for his family’s table… So you give it back to him?

Greg needs to decide his future.  Is it being the obsequious servant who sells out the rest of the house to keep in his master’s good graces?  Or is it being the guy who cares little what pompous asses think of him, and only wants to be remembered as the guy who always did what he thought was right?

He may have been wrong before, when the fog was thick.  But it is gone now… One can see clearly as far as the eye can see.  His legacy if left unchanged, will doom every child of every parent in this fair state, unless they choose to opt out and not let their children take the test….

We call on him to save his children.  Not for me.  Not for any group, political or otherwise.  Seriously, none of us matter that much… But children?  There are none like them anywhere else in the world…. They should not be forced to run miles on stumps… This is a cruel test and cruel people are pushing it… It will do no good to any child of Delaware to continue any further with this charade ….

All can see it for what it is. 2011_Lavelle_Mugshot1

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