Informed Consent: An Experimental Subject's Bill of Rights
NCLB-mandated testing is a huge experiment, and it should be treated as such. Parents should sign an Informed Consent form before a school can test their children. And informed consent should mean just that.
Of course, along with the Consent Form, districts need an Institutional Review Board (IRB). This is a committee that reviews, approves, and does continuing review of research involving human subjects. The primary purpose of such review is to guarantee the protection of the rights and welfare of the human subjects. And who needs this more than schoolchildren?
What does an IRB mean to you?
The purpose of the IRB is to inform and protect human subject through the information provided in the informed consent document. Therefore, the IRB is acting as a supporter for the research subject. This means that the IRB, during its review of the informed consent document, has the right and responsibility to ensure that the research subjects is fully informed of the procedures involved in the study as well as the risks and other educational options that are available if participation in the study is refused.
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