After yesterday’s post that included mention of the way one MHS teacher is encouraging and incentivizing kids to opt-out, we received another story. This parent asked us to paraphrase her story, rather than quoting directly.
According to her, in her child’s fourth grade class (Ms. Traina, Hillside) a student presented to the class.
The fourth grade student, had given a speech to the school board in December where she delivered a long and well-composed, well-written essay about potential problems with PARCC. Watching the video at the time, we were very, very impressed with the vocabulary and quality of the writing of the speech she read. And then, of course, we found out that her mom is Sarah Blaine, an education activist (and former teacher union contract negotiator) who’s been involved in national pushes against “education reform” – and has blogged on those issues for a while. In fact, Blaine had even written a letter to the editor in the Montclair Times mirroring the critique just a month previously. And she would testify against the PARCC latter that month. We’ll be blunt here – YES, our implication is that Sarah Blaine is using her daughter to advance her own political agenda.
The teacher, Christina Traina, apparently introduced and encouraged the student’s presentation, having her present the newspaper piece, and then read her speech to the class, encouraging all of them to opt-out from the PARCC.
Obviously, there was no countervailing narrative or anything like that presented. Instead, the teacher arranged for the kids to be fed a case on why they should opt-out. It’s not even teaching the debate – it’s a transparent effort on the part of the teacher to push the opt-out agenda in their class.