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Opt Out & Refuse the Tests!

Filed in Take Action Now by on October 8, 2014
Opt Out & Refuse the Tests!

Follow these instructions if you are a parent or guardian that is exercising your fundamental and constitutional right to direct the education of your child(ren) and choosing to protect them from the federal and state mandated high-stakes standardized testing, assessments, and data mining that go along with the Common Core State Standards Initiative…

 

1.  OPT OUT:  Protect your children from data mining and the sharing of their personal information by using this form from the Thomas More Law Center… Student Privacy Protection Opt-Out Form (AL – Use this form)(CA – Use this form)

a.  Fill out the appropriate form above and keep the original for your own records

b.  Make enough copies of your completed form for the following recipients:

i.  The superintendent of your child’s school district

ii.  The principal of your child’s school

iii.  Each of your child’s teachers

c.  Submit copies of your completed form to each of the recipients listed above as soon as possible

d.  Follow up with an email to all of the recipients requesting written confirmation that your privacy protection opt-out form has been received, that it will be acknowledged, and that it will be filed in your child’s school records

 

2.  REFUSE THE TESTS:  Protect your children from the federal and state mandated high-stakes standardized testing and assessments that go along with the Common Core State Standards Initiative by writing a refusal letter based upon answers you receive to the questions provided in the link below and while referring to your own state’s guide to opting out (which can be found on the left side of this page under State Resources)

a.  Question your own child’s school district about the testing and assessments that will be administered. Be sure to request a district testing schedule for the entire school year. Email is the recommended form of correspondence between you and your child’s school district as it is quick, efficient, and provides a paper trail for you to print off. Postal mail would be the next best option for correspondence between you and your child’s school district as it still provides a paper trail, but is much more time consuming. Here is a list of what you should ask the principal of your child’s school, the superintendent of your child’s school district, and the members that serve on your local board of education… *Questions for Your School District (begin on page 3 of the printable instructions)

b.  After receiving answers to the questions provided above, please refer to your own state’s guide to opting out and write a refusal letter. There are sample letters included in the states’ guides to opting out. Be sure to follow the specific instructions that have been laid out for your own state in its guide to opting out, but please also consider including the following as well:

i.  A statement that you refuse all state tests and assessments (as specified by the answers you receive from your school district and as described in your own state’s guide to opting out), all benchmark exams, all pre-assessments/assessments connected to Student Learning Objectives (SLOs), all questionnaires, all surveys, and all field tests that will be administered not only on all mandated testing days, but also any that will be administered during make-up sessions as well.

ii.  A suggestion that alternative means to evaluate your child’s academic performance, and to help determine their academic class placement, could include a portfolio-style system, performance-based assessments, project-based assignments, and/or materials created by your child’s teacher

iii.  A statement that you refuse any assessment in which data is used to determine school ranking, teacher effectiveness, and/or used for federal and state longitudinal studies

iv.  A statement that you refuse to allow your child’s information to be stored in any longitudinal state database and that you refuse to allow your child’s information to be used outside of the school district

v.  A statement that your child should not have to be absent from school or be forced to “sit and stare” at their desk with nothing educational to do on mandated testing days or during make-up sessions (this is especially why you’ll want to request a testing schedule for the entire school year and to make sure that alternative arrangements are made for your child)

vi.  A request for your child’s school to provide alternative educational activities to accommodate your child during test-prep and testing periods (i.e. independent reading or creative writing at their desk or in an alternative location)

vii.  A request for confirmation in writing that there will be absolutely no negative or punitive consequences for your child whatsoever as a result of you exercising your parental right to refuse testing on their behalf (i.e. negative or punitive consequences on your child’s workload, grades, grade placement or promotion, class placement, ability to graduate, etc.)

viii.  A request for confirmation in writing that your refusal letter has been received, that it will be acknowledged, and that it will be filed in your child’s school records

c.  Make enough copies of your refusal letter for the following recipients:

i.  The superintendent of your child’s school district

ii.  The principal of your child’s school

iii.  Each of your child’s teachers

d.  Submit copies of your refusal letter to each of the recipients listed above as soon as possible

 

3.  FIND SUPPORT: Connect with other Common Core Critics

a.  Facebook Group: Common Core Critics

b.  Facebook Group: Common Core Critics – National Opt Out & Refuse the Test Campaign

c.  Facebook Page: Common Core Critics

d.  Facebook Event: Opt Out & Refuse the Tests!

e.  Twitter: @JanetWardWilson

f.  Find other resources specific to your own state under State Resources (where the individual state guides to opting out can be found as well)

 

4.  KNOW YOUR RIGHTS:

a. The Constitution of the United States of America

b.  A brief history of legal precedents for refusing high-stakes standardized testing (begins on page 4)

c.  FERPA – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

d.  PPRA – The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment

e.  IDEA – The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

f.  COPPA – Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule

g.  ParentalRights.org

 

5.  LEARN MORE ABOUT COMMON CORE TESTING AND ASSESSMENTS:  Click here

 

Opt Out & Refuse the Tests!

#SayNoToCommonCore

#RefuseTheTests

(Printable Test Refusal Instructions)