"It is premature to predict success or failure from the first round of state tests of students. In fact, there will be no pass or fail score this year. My point about parents taking responsibility is to underscore their vital role as their children's first teachers and their model for learning. That means limiting television-watching and increasing the focus more on reading, academic achievement and curiosity, than on whether or not their children play two sports or can kick a soccer ball.
Whether or not parents are engaged in the education of their children, however, our public schools are in the business of educating all children. So we then count on teachers and administrators to "turn on the lights" for children, and help them meet high academic standards.
Because it will take several months to score the tests accurately and reliably, we will be releasing the results in mid-November. We will use the results constructively to help students and schools improve. These first results are a benchmark against which to measure future progress. Everyone who cares about children and schools needs to recognize that, and not use the results -- good or bad -- for political or partisan purposes.
I do not want my comments about parents, teachers, testing or other matters to be politicized. I am an Independent, I work for the State Board of Education, and the job of Commissioner is nonpartisan."