“As a mom, I have to protest the standardization of education because my children are not standardized learners.” Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid

A few days ago I had the pleasure of connecting with a group of moms from across the country. We formed the support group several years ago because we all have one thing in common; we are moms of multiples. We do not typically meet very often, but when we do, it is to share ideas, struggles and victories. Last week, we discussed state testing.

Here are my thoughts from a parent perspective:

Last year my girls were in the third grade. I recall one afternoon, picking them up from school and they were stressing. Beyond the normal, I have a lot of homework stress. They were talking to one another about the state test. They talked about failure and what if they did not do well. They talked about the questions being too difficult to read. They talked about not knowing how to complete the math problems. They basically talked about not being adequately prepared. For the most part, my girls do well in school but this test somehow shook their confidence. Our society guarantees young, black women will lack confidence in many areas so I have to take the necessary steps to combat this unacceptable truth. So I told them they would not have to take the test.

One confidence shattering, stressful situation averted.

This year I planned to take a similar stance. There was not much to think about and my decision was solidified when I took my girls to a college readiness workshop. Most of the workshop participants were high school students. Several of the students mentioned how taking the SAT multiple times was beneficial. A parent participant revealed he allowed his daughters to begin taking the SAT in the sixth grade for better preparation. My girls decided they would take the SAT in sixth grade to prepare as well. No stress just eagerness and excitement about the college process. I mention this because individuals have said taking the state assessments will prepare students for ACT and SAT testing. But in actuality, ACT and SAT prep course are available for this purpose. So I stand on the decision to allow my girls to opt out.

My decision was based on the needs of girls. Any decision you make will need to be based on what is best for your children.

Dr. Shanelle R. Benson Reid, President and CEO of ACCESS Global, LLC. is a Consultant, Coach, Author and Professional Speaker. Her expertise is in Education, Cultural Competency, Social Awareness, Entrepreneurship and Community / Individual Empowerment.

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Originally published at medium.com