Yes, your child can opt out of standardized testing   5 comments

Common Core nationalized tests are to be implemented on our kids in 2014-2015 in Utah –unless we can talk our Governor and State School Board into getting us out of Common Core.

This will be overtesting in action.  Overtesting does not benefit children.

It does, however, benefit test writers, technology-for-test seller, politicians, and textbook writers

Ever thought about that?

There is a growing movement (not growing fast enough to suit me) against the surging overtesting of our kids that is happening for political and financial gain. 

All the talk about “data-driven decision making”

–is so much blah, blah, blah to teachers who want to teach for the joy of teaching and learning and seeing children bloom, not to prove some politician’s point.  Or to children who just want to learn, to play, and to be kids!

Did you know that you have the right to opt out?  This year, I didn’t let my public schools test my kids.  They still get to attend next year. There was even one teacher who offered an alternative math test (just for her) that wasn’t a standardized, massive, kid-tracking test that would be sent to the P-20 council and the state and federal government.

Yes, you can opt out of testing.

An anonymous California teacher’s blog on overtesting says:

    “Six weeks of mind numbing, stomach wrenching, enormously boring, enthusiasm sucking, test preparation.  Six whole weeks stressing kids out while denying them access to a real education where their natural curiosity and ability to think critically has been sorely eliminated – along with social studies, science, music, art, recess, etc.

I looked at the terminology on the board and thought, wow!  Just. Wow!!!  I also thought, Are You $#*#%#*^#*# Kidding Me really???  Srsly!  I’ll bet if I asked any non-sixth grade teacher in the room, including our principal, no one, I mean NO one, could define all of those terms.  I’d be willing to bet NO one at the district office could define those terms.  Our local school board couldn’t.  In fact, I’d be willing to bet that Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Michelle Rhee, Wendy Kopp, Geoffrey Canada, Michael Bloomberg, Joel Klein, and even Oprah couldn’t define those terms.  Yet our SIXTH GRADERS are supposed to be able to know these terms and apply that knowledge on the State test? Why?  I mean, seriously, why?  Who came up with the ludicrous idea that this was grade level appropriate material, let alone relevant to sixth graders?
All I can say is, “#$*#*%*#$* is #*#**%##* up!”  Totally.  This year has been the most frustrating in my entire career.  I am sick of District and State generated test data.  I’m sick of test prep.  I’m sick of testing.  Yes, even kindergarten teachers are now testing our children into oblivion. (More about that in an upcoming post.)  I’m disgusted by the reward parties for children who have made the grade, so to speak.  I weep for all those kids who NEVER get to attend any of the special events because they couldn’t make the grade no matter how hard they tried.  My stomach clenches when I think about walking into the multipurpose room at the beginning of the next school year.  Will I see the NAMES and SCORES of the kids who scored Proficient or Advanced on the State test posted on the walls for all to see, AGAIN? Will we spend $6,000 on Accelerated Reader when we spend $0 on new books for our library?
The only good thing about having furlough days for the third year in a row is that it means that I have five fewer days to put up with this #*$&@.  Class sizes continue to rise.  Testing continues to increase.  More mandates that do nothing to help kids learn proliferate. Really, people, I can’t possibly take any more meds than I am currently taking.”

5 responses to “Yes, your child can opt out of standardized testing

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  1. I live in Sevier County School District in Utah. My children K-12 take debils 1 X per week, YPP 1-2 times per week (these each take up to one hour per test), AR test weekly, NWEA 3X year (that is one week per time, some students take up to five hours per day on this). Next year the state will have an adaptive test to be used at our discretion 3X yearly, our district will do all 3, plus what I have mentioned above. I am leaving out numerous weekly tests they have in separate schools, each has more multiplied on top of this. Parents are finally becoming keenly aware of what is happening in our district. Maybe the best way, and first step is to educate them on “opting out”? Start a campaign? Hand out fliers to fill out and send into the school? What do you think?

    • That is a great start. I did that before I pulled my fourth grader out to homeschool him. I just wrote a letter telling the school and district we would be opting out of all standardized testing. It’s not helping the kids; it’s helping the bureaucrats who are data-hungry. So why make our kids succumb?

      • Great, if a letter is all we need I can do it. We will have over a hundred parents opting out which means we will lose our title one funding. I am making a call to our state title 1 guy letting him know. Essentially, our district would have to shut down and they would have to bus us an hour away. Personally, I think they will come down hard on the district and serious changes will have to happen. I hope. As for my children, I plan on pulling them out. I have spent the last three years writing lessons and curriculum for schools that can’t use them because their demands to teach for the test, and restrictions with the new common core. It has been very educational for me. Thanks for all you are doing.

        Molly Foster

      • Hi!!!! I’m an admin for United Opt Out! Thanks for getting the message out about common core and HST! Do you have a sample letter we could use )and cite credit to you) that I could share on the Utah Opt out guide we’re creating? If so please email to me today or tomorrow? We’re launching our 50 state campaign July 3rd

  2. I am a parent of three who is wanting to opt-out of the common core testing. I don’t want my elementary school children to be taking the AR (Accelerated Reader) testing, the dibels tests, or the math tests. In addition I plan on composing a letter to the school board officials with a copy to the principal and teacher. As a parent do I have the right to opt-out of the tests I listed above? Are there any other tests that I should be opting my kids from?

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