Rep. Earl Jaques called my son a failure today. #eduDE #netDE

Here’s his quote:

“To me, opt out is admitting failure,” said Jaques. “[It’s] saying, oh, I can’t measure up. I’m not good enough to be able to take this test. I can’t pass that test. That’s not the American way.”

Rep. Jaques, my son has Autism. He is taught by professionals that are demonized by these tests. My son has more tenacity and courage to get through a day that you have exhibited in your life.

My son is not a failure. How dare you call him one.

Respectfully, you need to resign. You are a disgrace to your office, colleagues, and the parents of all children who are the rightful decision makers for their children. Your arrogance and petulance is embarrassing.


12 thoughts on “Rep. Earl Jaques called my son a failure today. #eduDE #netDE

  1. Reblogged this on Exceptional Delaware and commented:
    I guess my son with Tourette Syndrome is a failure too. And every single special needs child who is opted out, and every low-income, poverty-stricken child who is opted out. And every smart kid whose parents don’t want their child to feel like a failure when the Secretary of Education and the DOE expect bad scores for a few years…

  2. jonpelto

    Can you provide his contact information so those of us in Connecticut can send this thug our regards

  3. My wife and I opted them both of our sons out. Not because we don’t think they can pass all the tests they’re required to take, but because we think it’s INSANE to require this much testing for school kids.

    Don’t give a crap if he thinks it’s failure or whatever. Nothing more “American Way” than exercising our rights and protecting our kids.

  4. I have to admit John, when I first read Earl’s statment, I was thinking of all kids. I forgot my own until I read this and it added a much more personal feel to Jaques’ statement. How did it come to this? I get that our children deserve the best education possible, but when did we allow these people to make these decisions without any ability to stop them unless we are screaming from the rooftops? I can say, as a Dad, I understand your sentiments in this post. There are those of us fighting the good fight, but where are the rest of the people? Are they oblivious to what is going on with education? Sometimes I just don’t get it….

  5. The email I just sent:

    Representative Jacques:

    Today, I learned of your comments regarding parents who choose to not permit their children to participate in Smarter assessments. My first source was a blog, so I tried to convince myself that the reporting was biased or untrue. Not because I don’t trust the blogger in question, but because I did not want to believe that an elected public official would be so dismissive of parents. Unfortunately, I was wrong and the blogs were right. Unless, of course, you want to deny what you said and was reported in mainstream media.

    How. Dare. You.

    How dare you imply that parents who exercise their rights are not good Americans? Isn’t that what being American is about – knowing your rights as an individual and making choices based on that information?

    How dare you be so condescending and dismissive of the community that elected you to the public office you hold? Your arrogance is utterly overwhelming.

    How dare you classify children who do not participate in a test that is no more than a giant money grab that has the added benefit of labeling and punishing professional educators as failures? You can’t possibly be that out of touch with reality.

    Let me give credit where it is due. Part of your quote is correct. Opting out IS admitting failure. But that is where your accuracy ends. This isn’t about the failure of students, parents, or teachers. It is about the failure of the Smarter Balance assessment to be a valuable tool to measure sound, research-based standards and provide meaningful information for teachers.

    Don’t you ever again dare to claim my children are failures or don’t measure up because I made a decision that I believe to be good for them. Ever again. And not just my children, but the children of every parent who has made the same choice that I have to not have their children participate in the testing this season. You don’t have the right.

    You owe the community an apology. And your resignation.

    Elizabeth Paige

  6. Joanne Christian

    To parse words farther John……my child didn’t opt out. I did. Guess that makes me a failure as a parent :). Oh well, one more thing the prison psychiatrist can review, along with playing outside and being told NO. Oh, and no phone calls at dinner.

    And furthermore…..”it’s not the American way….”. Guess I’m either a bad American, or now one of those Yellow, Commie, Pinkos, Fascist, Red, people who was allowed to breed, pay taxes, and vote here. Aw geez, one more list I go on now for junk mail. 🙂

    Hey, Rep. Jaques–it ain’t the test. It’s the answers.

  7. Michael Bank

    For the past 23 years I have been the school counselor at Richardson Park Learning Center, a school for elementary age children with severe special needs in the Red Clay school district. I have also been the testing coordinator at my school for as long as the position has existed in the district.

    Many of our students are reading anywhere from 1-3 years below grade level in addition to comprehension difficulties, auditory processing challenges, and related issues. This is the reason our school exists – to work with these children who need additional support. We are also required to have our students participate in all state standardized tests.

    How would anyone feel if they were required to complete a task that they are not capable of doing? Would they feel frustrated? Angry? Depressed? What would this do to your self-esteem?

    I am tired of seeing children burst into tears or get physically sick because they have to take DSTP, DCAS, SBAC, or some other acronym. Student behavior referrals increase during testing times.

    These children need encouragement and support…not to be slapped in the face with the government’s skewed version of reality in which all children must be treated equally. Equal does not mean fair!

    Next year Red Clay is going full inclusion so most of these children will be mainstreamed into other schools and classrooms with their typical peers. I want to see them all succeed and if one less frustrating situation will help this to happen then I am all for it!

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