South Carolina is a hard-core right-wing state, often leaning Libertarian and almost always contradictory.
SC politicians push school choice while running against a woman’s right to choose. Now we learn that school choice advocacy in SC does not include parents’ right to choose whether or not their children participate in relentless testing.
According to a memo from the SC Department of Education and to district superintendents:
It has come to the attention of the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) that opt-out request forms are circulating around the state giving some parents the belief that they can opt their children out of state and federal testing requirements, among other things. With regard to testing, federal and state laws require that all students be included in South Carolina’s state assessment system.
There is no state provision for parents or eligible students (who are age eighteen or older) to opt-out of state-or district-wide testing….
With regard to any requests from parents for a school district to omit their children’s data from any district submission to the SCDE, neither federal nor state law allows a parent to opt-out of federal or state-required data collection processes, which is safeguarded by the SCDE.
While I have written often about the dangers of idealizing parental choice, it is certainly interesting to recognize the contradictory messages right-wing political leadership in SC sends about their own occasional support of choice (which reveals itself to be no real support of choice at all—only when it serves the interests of those leaders).
Parents, be warned.