I received a copy of this letter sent to State Superintendent Smith regarding the Feb. 2, 2015 memo from USOE and opting out. I reprint it here with permission from the author.
Thank you for your statements on parental rights and testing in last Friday’s board meeting. While the new “safe harbor” memo is being prepared, would you please rescind the Feb 2 memo? That will be very helpful in clearing up the current confusion between parents and school administrators.
As you know, the Feb 2 memo was deeply troubling to Utah families. The idea that parental rights exist at the pleasure of the USOE or LEAs, and comprise only rights specifically enumerated in Utah code or USOE policy, is anathema to Utah families who believe that the family is ordained of God, and is the fundamental unit of society.
Likewise, the Feb 2 memo was completely lacking in authority. Parents are endowed by their Creator with the unalienable right to direct the education and upbringing of their own child. The Feb 2 memo, attempting to abridge these rights, is in direct conflict with natural law, the US and Utah Constitutions, and Utah Code Section 62A-4a-201.
Finally, as the new memo is crafted, please consider that many parents object, not only to specific tests, but to the student data tracking that come with vendor-hosted learning systems, including the AIR “formative” and “interim” testing and learning platform. Please include, in policy, a recognition of a parent’s right to opt their child out of anything that requires a login. Technology-based learning and testing should be an option, not a requirement for enrollment in Utah schools.
Editor and Founder