Sunday, March 15, 2015

Opt-Out Resources from Children Should Not Be a Number

Starve the beast. Teachers can't be rated it there is not enough data. Opt-out is clearly so threatening to the ed deform movement they are resorting to strong-arm tactics. But the opposition from the right has turned things topsy-turvy. Yesterday I heard an early morning interview with an upstate Republican NYS Assemblyman who made every single point the left has been making for years -- he even said "follow the Bill Gates and Pearson money."

On the Change the Stakes listserve parents are reporting they have offered to go into schools to teach the opt-out kids lessons during the tests on topics of interest to them -- like astronomy. Principals are so scared they run and hide or say they can't do it without the permission of their Superintendent, most of whom are slugs.

Share this info with parents - if you dare.

From Chris Cerrone

Opt Out & Refusal Resources

Why Opt Out?

What Opt Out is NOT.

Important Articles

Opt Out Myths & Talking Points

Our 2015 Refusal Letter

A few notes:

  • This is our fourth year refusing the state assessments.
  • Last year our district allowed children to read in a separate location, so we are thanking school administration for respecting families who are standing up for their children's education. 

March 15, 2015

Dear Administrators & Teachers,

Thank you for all that you do for our school.

We are writing respectfully on behalf of ______________ (Grade __) and _________ (Grade ___) to refuse the New York State Assessments in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science(4th grader) this spring. As we have expressed numerous times in the last four years, our family is very concerned about the direction of education in our state. The increased importance of mandated standardized testing is having a significant negative educational impact on children and contributes to the financial crisis facing districts across the Empire State. Governor Cuomo’s education agenda and attacks on public schools have only intensified our concerns and advocacy.  We feel a mass boycott of the New York State Assessment system is the primary vehicle to reverse the wrong-headed education policies that are already federal and state law as well as halt the damaging education proposals from Governor Cuomo.  Thank you once again for listening to our concerns.

We have no issue with properly written tests that monitor our children's progress but the current assessment system does not help parents or educators achieve that goal. Despite what state education officials repeat ad nauseam, teachers are provided with very little data from the state assessments to “inform instruction”. Parents receive a vague score report that does not assist families in assessing our children's academic progress. The secretive nature of the state assessments contributes to the need for significant reversal in education policy in our state and nation. It short, the current New York assessment system has no educational value for the students of our state.

In addition, we please request that our children do not take any practice tests that are designed for the sole purpose of preparing students for the state assessments.  Please give our children an alternative activity or assignment during any practice testing, which could include reading, homework completion time, or any academic assistance they may need.

We would like to thank the {school name} administration for once again allowing our children to read in a separate location while other students are testing.  Thank you very much.  I look forward to a great end of the school year.


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