Steps in the Test Refusal Process

Steps in the Test Refusal Process is a combination of information from Change the Stakes and United4Kids, with some additions. Thanks to them and United Opt Out for leading the way on this!

  1. Notify the principal in writing with a short explanation of your decision (see examples here). It’s your decision as a parent and you don’t owe any additional explanation. You should make sure you keep a dated copy for yourself.
  1. Talk to the teacher(s) and administrators about a plan to accommodate your child on testing days. You should not have to keep your child home.
  1. Offer teacher(s) support in developing a portfolio of representative work to support an end-of-year decision to promote your child without state test results.
  1. It is advisable to have someone with you for moral support when you turn in your letter and during any other meetings you might have.
  1. Expect a phone call or an e-mail. Simply re-state your decision. Do not accept an invitation for a meeting (unless you have the time or the interest). This is not a power struggle or a game, it’s simply a parent’s decision to act in the best interest of their child. Keep your communication simple and direct.
  1. If challenged or threatened, ask for the policy in writing. Do not accept any consequences that are not publicly stated in policy previous to your notification.
  1. Document all communication in writing. If your parental authority is violated, your child faces any type of discrimination, or you are otherwise harassed, send written notification to the superintendent, citizen elected school board members and the state department of education.

Remember that your family is taking a principled action to secure a better education for your child and that you are not alone!

If you have questions, encounter problems not covered here, or have advice for others, please contact ________ We will do our best to try and answer your questions and better inform other parents that are taking this important step in ending the obsession with testing so teachers can spend more time teaching.