season will be here soon. Yes, that is now a phrase.

The Ohio state tests, which are actually written by the American Institute of Research, will begin next month. These tests are an experiment on our children. They have not been validated, they are not transparent, the results cannot be used to facilitate classroom instruction, they are costly and time-consuming.

These are not "just tests." Our schools have turned into test prep and data collection academies instead of learning institutions. Our children are not getting the education they rightfully deserve and that our tax dollars are paying for. What can we do? We can refuse the tests.

A parent has the constitutional right to guide their child's education. Safe Harbor protects both child and teacher again this school year. If your school uses scare tactics such as saying your child must take the test or that the school will lose federal funds, disregard them.

The school has to offer the tests, your child does not have to take them. New York state had more than 20 percent of their students opt out and no funds were lost. A precedent has been set.

Speak out and learn. Parents have a powerful voice. Send letters, call, talk to others regarding how education is changing to benefit tech and data companies over our children. Find out about the next wave of "reform" where our kids will be tested every day using competency-based learning, where kids will sit in front of a screen all day and have a teacher facilitator instead of an actual teacher.

Thank a teacher. They are on the front lines doing their best to protect our children. Many want to speak up but would be in danger of losing their jobs.

Karen Turner, Twinsburg