Donna Dudley, superintendent of Moyers public schools in Oklahoma, made a conscious decision to defy the state.

 

It should not have been an extraordinary decision because it was what a decent human being would do.

 

Two of her students suffered a terrible loss the weekend before the state tests. Their parents were killed in a car crash.

 

Superintendent Dudley asked the state for permission to exempt them from the state tests.

 

The bureaucrats at the State Education Department said no.

 

Superintendent Dudley exempted them anyway.

 

I honor her here as a hero of public education.

 

The story broke after Superintendent Dudley wrote about it on Facebook and said she was willing for her school to get an F, if that was the consequence of doing what was right for the students.

 

Once the situation was publicized, the State Superintendent of Instruction, Janet Barresi, quickly apologized.

 

Mistakes were made.

 

When the state is wrong, individuals must do what is right regardless of the consequences.

 

Question is, when will the state–not only Oklahoma–but the federal government, President Obama, Secretary Duncan, and the U.S. Congress–admit that the emphasis on testing is out of control?

 

Why test dying children? Why test children who have no brain stem? Why test grieving children?

 

What has happened to our humanity?

 

Why must the demand for Big Data trump decency and kindness and basic values?

 

When will we stand together and say NO?

 

I reiterate the demand of the Network for Public Education for Congressional hearings on the misuse, overuse, and costs of testing in our schools today.