When will Toxic Testing End? When a Child is Dying? Not Always

What happened to Andrea Rediske and her son Ethan will break your heart, and illustrate the callous absurdity of high stakes toxic testing. I had the privilege of meeting her and sharing her story. (We actually met through this blog!)

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5 Responses to “When will Toxic Testing End? When a Child is Dying? Not Always”

  1. Martha Wood

    This story and many others like it demonstrate most graphically the absurdity of testing for the sake of testing. It is a prime example of what happens to our children when laws mandating these tests and regulations for reporting test scores are promulgated by those who know nothing about the children who are subjected to this sort of barbaric abuse.
    Stories like this one make me glad I left the classroom before all this idiocy came about. They also make me angry that any teacher should be required to administer such tests or be labeled insubordinate and face dismissal.

  2. Holiday Woodward

    Simply heartbreaking … When a child is this ill, literally on the verge of dying, how can anyone deem documentation as more important than respect for a human life? This should never have happened. It is as if this child and his mother were dehumanized in the name of procuring data. FAPE stands for free and appropriate education, which inherently includes all of the accompanying evaluations to determine student progress. In this case, demanding the assessment be done – and the assessment itself – was clearly inappropriate and inhumane. Surely, there must have been a disconnect or break down along the line which led to this. What steps will NEA, teacher unions, special education advocates, district superintendents, and legislators take to prevent this from happening to another child with special needs?

  3. Lisa Vavrik

    This story make me want to cry. I went through 4 years of not knowing if my daughter would make it and school things were not on my mind. There comes a time when you have to decide what life is about and it is not about a data point to make sure a teacher is doing her job.

  4. Suzanne Gray

    I am so sorry for your loss. The absurdity of this testing is appalling. As the mother of an adult with DD, I recall my pain, anger and stress from the horrendous school and legal dramas. My child and I both have PTSD. Take good care of yourself; you’re not alone.

  5. Heidi Weatherly

    I am a high school special ed life skills teacher in WA state. I have refused testing a fragile student. I will continue to refuse to test a student. A parent DOES have the right to sign a form opting their child out of testing. If there isn’t a form, then submit a notorized statement. I will do whatever the parent requests! I will put my job on the line. There is never any test so important that would ever make me put a fragile student through some of the “games” required to make a school score higher. Yes, these absurd tests do happen and I have given them to students that aren’t medically fragile. We must stand together to prevent “abusive” testing of our most fragile and vulnerable children who merely want quality of life, time and experiences while they are in school. THEY are more important than a score and even more important than my job. I stand firm on this.


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