Testimony by Wei, Plymouth, a father of two elementary kids
I would like to share some of thoughts with MDE officials and legislators and expressed my deep concerns over data disaggregation. Specifically, I would give an example that just happened to me this weekend. When I was helping my daughter polishing her short speech for the 4th grade student council election, I asked my daughter if she want to highlight her Asian/Chinese identity. To my surprise, she refused and was very upset. I asked her to reconsider it which only met with more upset. At end my 9-year old said she doesn’t want to be singled out, she just want to be the same with the rest of the kids while her class is majoritively white. I would like to ask educators and legislators to pay extra attention to our minority kids who might have strong refusal to repetitive and detailed identification at school as this could hurt them while they were young and have identification issue. They may also feel being bullied and face other type of racial stereotype jokes which in turn hurt their social life at schools. Subsequently, I would ask legislators and educators to deplore in-depth research on the psychological impact to minority kids before data disaggregation goes in place, since every kid is DIFFERENT. Good intention cannot be justified when a group kids is unfairly treated, no matter how small the group is. I would warn that the negative influence to such minority kids might be permanent and irreversible. Last but not least, even if the disaggregation form filling is optional or they could choose OTHER on the form, the harmful effect to kids might still be done by the process itself.