A few years ago, my daughter’s highchair was recalled. When I read the recall notice I thought I had missed something because the problem seemed so benign. There are pegs on the back of the legs on which to hang the tray when not in use. Children could fall on the pegs and suffer cuts or bruises. According to the recall notice, there were 21 incidents reported. To put that in perspective, 455,000 high chairs were sold. That’s a .005 chance of your child getting a bruise when he stumbles into the chair. For this risk, all high chairs were recalled and the company sent out little rubber covers to put over the pegs.

The amount of students taking high stakes exams dwarfs the amount of high chairs sold and every single student that takes the test is adversely affected. They may not all be stressed, or physically ill, but they are missing out on instructional time. For me, that is not the educational equivalent of a cut or bruise. It is a broken bone. The instructional time lost to test prep, test taking and test scoring does irreparable damage to the educational process for both students and teachers. All teachers and all students are negatively affected. Entire families and communities are affected.

Children were not being seriously injured by the highchairs. They were suffering minor cuts and bruises; common occurrences through childhood. So why would Chicco spend so much money to send out replacement parts to eliminate the very minimal risk? One can assume it is because they fear litigation. They want to relinquish responsibility for any harm, no matter how minor, befalling your child because they fear your response.

So why haven’t these tests been recalled to avoid the major damage being done to children? Is it because the profiteers responsible for their administration do not feel any risk of backlash? Are they so confident that we will continue to silently sustain injury that they will not consider recalling their dangerous product? They should consider themselves on notice: We will not be silent. We will not let our children, teachers and schools sustain any more injuries. We will not allow our children’s education to be squandered. We will contact politicians. We will talk to our neighbors. We will reclaim our schools and never buy their shoddy product again.

As one…

Lace to the Top

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