There are good teachers. Lots of them. And parents recognize a good teacher when they see one. Right now these good teachers are stuck in a system that won’t allow them to do what they do best how they best know to do it. Google it and you find stories all over the internet of teachers who loved their profession, loved feeling like they could affect positive change in a child’s or a youth’s life, but who quit because they felt caught in a system that wouldn’t fully realize their students’ potential and may even be harmful. And the way the system is set up teachers can’t work around it. Because of the emphasis on high-stakes testing being tied to teacher evaluations they are forced to use their time teaching to a test. We’ve recently had a group of superintendents speak out against this.
Last spring Stacey Knudsen had a phone conversation with Supt. Luna. He told her parents could absolutely opt their children out of the tests. Too bad there isn’t a recording of that interchange because now parents are being told that opting out isn’t an option. Amidst all the confusion I contacted a district superintendent and asked him. Here is his response:
The answer is parents definitely have the right to opt out their children from the SBAC test. I made sure to opt out my two daughters. They will NOT be taking the SBAC test this year or ever and I have asked the high school administration to provide alternative educational options for my girls while others are testing.As Superintendent, I am neither advocating for or discouraging parents in my area from this option. Professionally I felt there were no valid educational reasons for anyone to have to take the test, especially one that lasts over 8 hours.All a parent has to do is write and sign a letter to the administration (much like signing kids out for a dental appointment) indicating they are opting their children out of the test.In my opinion, this state obsession with standardized testing must come to an end. Testing consumes vast amounts of legitimate computer usage and classroom instructional time for no valid reason.
In a follow up email he added,
I feel parents need to know all the options and then exercise their best judgment.In my opinion, the SBAC test is not educationally beneficial except to the testing companies.
Here is the opt out form used by the above mentioned superintendent.
Let Idaho teachers know that you know they are much more than the sum of a standardized test.