Remove race/ethnic identifying question of children on standardized tests and assessments
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Recently my bi-racial 4-year-old son, Xavier, was given an assessment by his Preschool staff here in Dayton by an adult assessor. The assessor (who remains unidentified) completing the assessment had the opportunity to decide or interpret what my sons race is by just looking at him. Based on his melanin, the assessor made their decision, and checked the box for "African American. This was disturbing to me as my son clearly looks multi-racial if unable to identify what "category" he should be placed in. If my son were asked, he would say he is “yellow-brown” at 4 years old, he has no idea what African American is. Who was this person labeling my son? When I confronted the preschool administration, they informed me that bi-racial or multi-racial was not a choice that was available to the assessor. Bizarre for assessments collected in 2018.
This concerns me that children as young as 4 years old are being measured not only by their knowledge base, but also being stripped of their racial and/or ethnic identity by a stranger.
As a mother of two biracial children, I am alarmed by the level of insensitivity considered by assessment creators in 2018 and find this method of identifying or interpreting race/ethnicity to be both “dated” and offensive. My daughter who is twelve, is also bi-racial, and is more fair in terms of melanin, than her brother. Lately has been making comments about her skin color and her struggle with trying to self-identify with where she "fits in" as pertains to societies every increasing infatuation with race and ethnicity. She doesn't feel that she is "black enough" to say she is African American on documents, but she is also not "white enough" to confidently identify herself as such either. It makes me aware that this will also be a future struggle my son’s generation will face. This is a problem. With multiracial and multiethnic families steadily increasing accompanying changes must be made. This is not a dilemma a child should be presented with nor a stranger to interpret.
Please join me in this movement to have racial or ethnic identification removed from documents that children must fill out or that third party (i.e. teachers, caregivers) must fill out on behalf of a child. My goal is to get 250,000 signatures and submit to the Ohio Department of Education and then move it up to the U.S Department of Education. Every signature counts. A child's racial or ethnic identity should not be up for anyone to discuss, decide, interpret, or analyze.
My children, like many others, are so much more than one box to be checked.
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