Throughout nullification’s history, the people who stepped up to say, “No,” were sometimes faced with consequences. Defying so-called authorities pushes us into the realm of the unknown. Sometimes, that’s pretty scary.

However, there is a growing grassroots movement out there that has decided that the unknown consequences of saying, “No!” to unjust and unconstitutional acts is far less frightening than what is happening to them now as they watch their liberties and power to chose things for themselves disappear.

As some states are rushing to implement Common Core and centralize education, parents and even teachers, are protesting and considering how to throw a monkey wrench into a system more concerned with scores and standards than the children.

Some people don’t understand why Common Core is such a bad thing. When looking from the outside in, it doesn’t sound all bad. It’s purpose is to make sure everyone at each grade level is on the same page. Why as that so bad?

But those families in districts affected by Common Core are seeing the impact of centralization first hand. Young children now shoulder the responsibility of determining a teacher’s performance and a school’s rank through mandated test scores. Instead of serving as institutions of learning, our schools are being transformed into answer factories driven by bubble sheets. Educators are teaching to the test in fear for their positions, driven by schools clamoring for grant money.

In an article in the New York Magazine, Robert Kolker asks the most important question. “What happens if enough New York parents say they don’t want their kids to take tests?”

Andrea Mata knows the pressure of standardized testing all to well. When her son’s school received a low score, the teaching focus shifted almost exclusively to test prep. Her son began to struggle, as the New York Magazine article describes, she began to consider opting out of the testing.

By spring, with the third-grade state tests imminent, Andrea started to think seriously about having Oscar opt out of the ELA entirely. The potential ramifications were a mystery to her, but in a way, she thought, the worst had already happened. Her son just didn’t like school anymore.

Andrea is certainly not alone. So what would happen if parents refused to participate in the federal education dog and pony show? They might face consequences. Schools might lose funding. Bad things might happen.

But in all likelihood, the centralized system would grind to a halt if enough parents and teachers refused to play along. Like all bureaucratic central planning projects, the education centralizers count on the willing, if not enthusiastic, support of parents students and state agencies. If they don’t comply, the system crashes.

We hold the power in our hands. We are just too scared to use it.

History has shown, change does happen each time we stop and say, “No! This is not right and we will not comply.” Remember, a single woman refusing to leave her bus seat sparked a movement that killed Jim Crow.
Do it. Say, “No!”


Kelli Sladick

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