This nice little piece was on ConversationEd.com
Dear Ed Inquiry,
Below is a letter that comes from our state DOE to be sent our when parents they request to OPT OUT of the test. What would be your opinion on our best rebuttal as parents? Also, is this form letter consistent with what you are seeing from other Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) states. BTW, they just renamed our Smarter Balanced Test ISAT 2.0.
I received your request dated February 20th to opt out of the Smarter Balanced Assessments for your students XXX at XXX. Unfortunately, our school district is not able to honor this request.
According to a ruling from the Idaho Attorney General’s office, instruction and assessment of the Idaho Core is covered in the State of Idaho’s “rules of thoroughness.” With that determination, all public school students are expected to receive consistent instruction according to the prescribed standards and take the associated assessment – in this case the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Please find a copy of this determination on the Idaho State Department of Education’s website at this address:http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/commonAssessment/. Therefore, the only way that a parent/guardian could opt out of the assessment would be to home school their child or place them in a private school/parochial school as all public schools require the standards be taught and measured using a year- end summative assessment.
If you have further questions, I will be glad to be your point of contact.
Cc: Mrs. XXX, Principal, XXX School
Dear Rebuttal in Idaho,
- First things first, NEVER ASK PERMISSION. You never request to opt out. It’s not a request it’s a courtesy notification that your student is opting out. This letter you received is the canned response to “requests”. You have the right to do what you want with your child.
- Because this is a canned response to “requests”, you should ask for the specific legislation that they quote in the letter. You need the exact line of the statute/law (it should be a number if it exists). Consortiums do not decide law; they decide policy. Bottom line, do not take this as letter from yourprincipal/district as gospel. Ask to see the law.
You must ask, “Is this a state policy or a LAW?” This is probably NOT law but rather just a policy to scare parents.
Go to http://unitedoptout.com for specific laws in your state.
Have you signed up for our free Boycott webinar happening on Aug 24 @ 4PM? We will be addressing issues such as this. You can sign up here http://conversationed.com/webinar/.
Hope this helps,
As mentioned at the end of the response, don’t for get the free webinar taking place August 24th at 2pm MDT.
The best way to kill this beast is to starve it. The best way to starve it is to refuse the test.