Opt Out Stories

Filed in Uncategorized by on March 21, 2014 3 Comments

There is a page set up on Facebook where Idaho parents are sharing their opt out letters and stories.  Good conversations have taken place as parents support each other with virtual high fives or words of wisdom on how to deal with an administrator who isn’t cooperating.  There can be strength in numbers.  I thought I would share just a little of what has taken place.


An old, (as in I’ve known her for a long time not a reference to her age,)  friend used this form to opt her children out of the SBAC.

Dear Fruitland School Principals and Superintendent,

Please be advised that my children ___________________________ will NOT be participating in the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) or (ISAT) testing during this current school year.

I understand that I have the right of choice regarding participation in standardized testing, and therefore, I do NOT give consent for my child/children to take the SBAC/ISAT assessments in math or ELA.

I believe in, and trust our qualified and dedicated teachers and administrators. I believe that my children’s education should be trusted to those who personally know the needs and individual requirements of each of my children. Teachers already know how to determine those needs and requirements without standardized testing. I feel very sad that schooling has become, “teaching to the test”. I know that is not why teachers became teachers. They became teachers for their love of teaching and their love for children.

I would also like to make it known that my children’s names and photos may only be used for the yearbook, school clubs and sports participation. At no time should any of our private individual or family information be released outside our immediate district.

I am requesting that my child/children be given appropriate alternate learning activities to do during the SBAC/ISAT testing periods, and that he/she NOT be included in the SBAC/ISAT Make-Up period testing.

Sincerely, Misti Borge

Misti also spent an afternoon at her children’s school giving parents Opt Out flyers.


And here’s another on sent in by a brave parent:

 Hello. First of all, I want to state that I appreciate K12 and IDVA and am so happy that this is available for parents/students. That being said, I wanted to apologize for the confusion below, but this is not a request. My daughter will not be participating in SBAC  testing. As her parent I retain the fundamental right to direct the education of my child as upheld by the Supreme Court in Troxel v Granville (2000) and many other cases. It just so happens that I have come down very ill and am unable to drive my daughter to the testing site but honestly even if I could I would not be doing so except to complete ISAT testing. I completely agree with and understand the need to regularly test for purposes of a homeschool curriculum and am happy to comply with those. But will not be allowing my daughter to be involved with SBAC  testing . I am aware that Idaho rules do require participation in the ISATS But there is nothing in the law/rules that mandates the use of children for field testing or SBAC specifically. SBAC  testing does not fit the purpose or intent of testing regulations in Idaho. If you feel I am in error regarding state mandate of SBAC  testing , I would like to see the policy/law that states my child has to take those specific tests. Again, thank you for your time and effort and all you do for our students. Please do not confuse my decision with a lack of gratitude. Thank you.


Here’s a surprisingly pleasant experience one parent had,

Today my elementary school boys principal stopped me in the hallway and said “So I know you don’t want to your son to take the SBAC. The district is allowing parents to opt out for just this year. Send me something in writing and make sure he has some books to read when it’s his class time to test.” I can’t believe it was that easy. I was getting ready for a fight. My gosh this is great! The fight isn’t over, but now I can focus on the next steps. This came from a Meridian School District principal.
One young mother was told that if her children were in school they had to take the test.  The only way to opt out is to keep them home.  She works and is going to have to look for someone to watch her children during the test and make-up days.  Or, she’s thinking of getting a doctors note excusing her children from the test because of the stress and anxiety these high-stakes tests are known to cause.
Carry on brave parents.  Carry on.


Comments (3)

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  1. Sheron Ellis says:

    And then what happens when you state your child will not participate in the testing and the district sends you a letter stating opting-out is not a choice? What does a parent do at that point?

    • You might want to kindly remind the school that according to the supreme court parents have the right to direct their childrens education.

    • Tonya Fortin Jolley says:

      You have your child call you when they are ready to test and go pick them up, after you have talked with the teacher and told them that you do not want them tested and that you will be picking them up. You also hold your head high every time (I am on my 5th day) you go pick them up and return them from school. You look them in the eyes so that they know you are not ashamed of what you are doing. You call other schools to see if they are allowing opt outs. You talk to your school board members about the problem and how you have been treated. You vote the people out that made this decision for your state and you remember one thing…. You are the parent, you ALWAYS have a choice.

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