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More CT Parents Opting-Out of State Testing

The State Department of Education is reporting “greater numbers of parents desiring to remove their child(ren) from participation in the statewide testing program.” In response, the department’s Academic Office has issued these suggested protocols and sample letter for districts’ use as part of its December Newsletter.

  1. Kimberly #

    Did anyone read the attachments? You CAN NOT “Opt Out”! This is a federal and state mandate. Next, do you realize what the “new” test entails? I do, I took a practice (Math, grades 3 – 5) These tests are designed so that are teachers can NOT teach “to the test”. They are computerized and the difficulty of the questions fluctuates with the answers the student gives. I am hoping that the students that have difficulty do not “Give Up” when they do not understand the first question. What a wonderful concept! The tests are also designed to teach our children that not everything is “black and white, right or wrong”. There can be multiple answers for a question. We have been teaching our children WHAT to think…not how to think.

    December 29, 2013
    • Terry #

      I did read attachments, bottom right corner of protocol. You can opt out.

      In these cases, the district generally does not test
      the student and the student is counted as “absent”
      (for purposes of testing), which negatively
      impacts the participation rate for the district.
      The state, to date, has not done any follow-up on
      these cases

      January 2, 2014
  2. I would love to opt my child out, but our state has a law that students who don’t take the test will be retained. Did the states that are opting out never have a law such as this, or did they work to change a law like my state’s? If they worked to change any law that kept them from opting out, I would love information on how they worked with their legislature to get rid of it. Thanks.

    December 16, 2013
  3. Mercedes #

    My son attends kindergarten in public school in Cambridge, MA, and I don’t object to him being tested in 3rd grade, 8th grade, and 10th grade. I DO object to him being tested every year and we will opt out of annual testing. I do object to his test scores and those of his peers being taken out of context and used to evaluate teacher performance and financial compensation for district administrators or school personnel. The test scores were meant to help us determine how well children achieving academic competencies and to help teachers and administrators improve instruction and help children learn. We know that there is inherent bias in tests, and we know that children with fewer resources will generally not score as well as children with more access and opportunities. This push to test children annually has taken on a life of its own. Teachers are disheartened and feel pressure to teach to the test. Children are uninspired and are spending too much time learning to fill in bubbles on answer sheets (until we move to computerized PARCC test) and not enough time learning to think critically, to inquire, observe, analyze, calculate, synthesize, communicate, etc. We spend close to $2 billion a year on testing. Let’s be clear. There is an industry that has a vested interest in keeping their revenues up. Imagine what we could do if we invested those funds in smaller teacher student ratios, effective family engagement strategies and school-based student support services, and recruiting, developing, and supporting the best, most talented and inspired teachers?

    December 12, 2013
  4. J.P. Roden #

    This is a growing trend, but I’m fearful that the “more informed” parents who take this option will mean that “better skilled” kids won’t be taking the tests and that the resulting scores will make it look like the teacher’s or school’s performance is down. Perhaps we have lobby for legislation that would indicate what percentage of students in a classroom, grade level or school take the test.
    Lots of attention is being given to the latest PISA scores and how “American” students performed in comparison to kids in other countries. Did you know that from the USA, the scores of ONLY kids in Conn., Mass., and Florida were used? What about kids in the 47 other states? In China, I read that only students in Macau and Shanghai, two of the wealthiest areas of China, were tested so what about the Chinese students throughout the rest of China?

    December 11, 2013
  5. Linda #

    Are you making this public so the word can get out to parents? Is this a proactive warning?

    December 10, 2013
  6. TeacherTruth #

    The State is at best, misleading the public. Parents can opt-out of this disastrous testing without ramifications. Given the track record of “Smarter Balance(isn’t that a name for an imitation butter product?),” parents SHOULD stop this form of child abuse. Then, and only then, can those vested in education- teachers, parents, administrators, students, take control from the powerful and wealthy elite behind Common Core.

    December 10, 2013

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