Jessica Fogarty is a parent, a former teacher, and a school board member in the Tullahoma, Tennessee, school district.

She sent me this message and asks for your help:

“Shortly after my daughter experienced major anxiety taking the state’s practice MIST tests, I realized that I needed to research testing in my state.

“My superintendent, Dan Lawson, has been extremely supportive in my efforts to appeal to the TN DOE to reduce testing and to allow our district to select an alternative to TNReady. I requested meetings with the commissioner (she finally met me the week before Part 1 was administered but despite all the facts presented and an all-out plea on my daughter’s behalf-she has continued with this tragedy of a test), I have sat on the floor outside legislators’ offices and written countless letters (our local Senator sponsored an education bill, SB 1984, but it was opposed heavily by the state and killed in committee), and I attempted to attend any feedback session offered to me (the state scheduled them in December and cancelled these sessions a week later “due to low registration numbers”).

“My district and fellow school board members have fought so hard for our students, however all the reasonable facts and pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

“I am desperate to help the teachers and students of my district and those across the state as well. With the blessing of my superintendent, I started a petition on Change.org. It is titled: “Stop Part 2 of TNReady”. In 48 hours, the petition has over 500 signatures. It is the amazing comments under the petition being made by parents, teachers, and even a student that demonstrates the need for the TN DOE to respond.

“However, I have a limited social media presence. I am just a concerned mother. I am reaching out to any and all that can help spread the word. I understand that this petition is just a “statement move”, but thousands of signatures and comments will make a powerful statement. I have to know that I did everything I could possibly do to help my daughter.”

Jessica, here is my advice: Refuse the test. Your daughter doesn’t have to take it. If enough parents join you, the state will listen. Your daughter belongs to you, not the State Education Department.

Thank you,

Jessica Fogarty