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Monday, April 15, 2013

Sample opt out letter and press release of NYC opt out parents.

Here's a sample opt-out/refusal letter you can send with your child tomorrow. 


Media Contact: Jane Hirschmann, 917 679 8343             
Jane Maisel, 917 678 1913

Parents in New York City as well as across NY State are mobilizing for a large scale boycott of this year's state standardized tests which start tomorrow. Parents assert that based on the numbers of concerned parents attending meetings and signing petitions, there would have been thousands more participating in this boycott if the NY State Education Department and the NYC DOE hadn’t created such an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
Many children across the city will not be taking part in the state tests this April. Parents from 33 schools have instructed the administration and the teachers that they do not have permission to administer the tests to our children.  Parents are determined to end the use of high-stakes testing which are now tied in with New York State’s new experimental Common Core curriculum.
 According to Chancellor Dennis Walcott of the Department of Education children are expected to do poorly on this year's tests because these tests are based on an as yet unused curriculum.  “Why put our children through this exercise? This is surely education malpractice. You can also call it child abuse,” said Marco Battistella. We know our rights as parents and we have an obligation to protect our children.  None of the top performing private schools (where Board of Regents children have attended) give these tests. Could that be why there are no consequences for their opting out?
Evelyn Cruz, a parent of a 6th grader reports that, “I have watched as my son who once loved school, now comes home complaining about all the test prep and emphasis on testing.  He doesn’t want to go to school anymore.  We parents are coming together to tell the Mayor and the Chancellor that despite attempts at fear and intimidation we say, ‘No more!’”
We have had enough of our children doing work that is developmentally inappropriate and focused on drill and kill. We see our children losing their love for learning. Something is very wrong when nine and ten year olds are so stressed out that they are crying, losing sleep and dreading going to school. A 4th grade parent reported that her son is saying that he must be ‘stupid’ because he is having difficulty with material that is at the ninth grade level.  Test anxiety makes learning impossible.
 “We have had enough of the endless test prep that comes with high-stakes testing tied to promotion decisions, teacher evaluations, school report card grades, closing of schools,” said Cynthia Copeland, a parent.
Parents have had enough of our educational system being dismantled by businessmen and politicians, not educators. We insist on a rich curriculum where teachers can teach and children will have a true pathway to successful careers and college.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a 5th grade teacher in New York State and the test in 5th grade was mathematically impossible for good readers to finish. If you divide the time they were given to read the passages by the number of passages they were expected to read (taking into account they were at the 50% in fluency) they would have about ONE MINUTE left to answer ALL THE QUESTIONS that went with the story. Now, the questions were EXTREMELY difficult and required that children go back and re-read key portions in order to answer effect--choose the BEST answer (b/c an excellent debater could probably sway the most intelligent person from the "right" answer to the "wrong" answer). THE KIDS WERE SET UP! THE TEACHERS ARE BEING SET UP! The educational panic we are in is based on skewed numbers and bogus comparisons with other countries (specifically homogenous Finland and equally homogenous Singapore). We test all our students (warts and all, special ed, mr, and those with Down Syndrome who are in the classroom setting). Most European and Asian countries TRACK. Sorry...but, the Chinese kids who are whooping your kid's butt in Math do not have parents who are at the apple factory assembling your iphones). The Common Core has not be piloted or proven to work, nor is it scientifically researched. I'm for higher standards--really! However, the high stakes tests are ridiculous. Dr. King should be ashamed of himself for his blog message to parents about these exams. It is WRONG to set up our communities for mass failure. How VAIN and BALLSY is it of them to actually ADMIT and PRE-WARN us of the outcome. State Ed has become too big for its britches. The parents have to TAKE THEM DOWN. STOP THE LIES! Irreparable damage is being done to our schools for the sake of fake progress.