How to Opt Out a Kinder – 8th Grader in WA State
- WaKids (Kindergarten)
- MSP (Measurement of Student Progress)
- SBA (Smarter Balanced Assessment)
For this span of years it is simple to opt your child out of the tests. Write a letter to your school’s principal and send a copy to the district office. You can explain why you are opting your child out if you wish to help educate them in regards to the invalidity of the test. You can attach articles to help educate them (Like the ones linked in “Reasons To Consider in Opting Out of State Tests 2016“). Many have not been exposed to these reports.
You can even mail a copy of your opt out letter to OSPI and your local legislators. Sending a clear message will help them understand how wrong this is, and the impact it is having upon our children, teachers, and schools.
There are no consequences to your child for not taking the test. However, principal’s have been trained to meet with you and convince you otherwise. Hold Firm. You are fighting for a bigger cause than opting out your own child. No child should have to face this abuse. The higher the number of Opt Outs, the louder the message.
If they threaten you with not allowing your child to advance to appropriate courses in the next grade based on this one test simply ask, “Are you going to prevent my child from being placed in the appropriate (math) class next year, despite the fact she has shown mastery of these skills, and her teacher knows she is ready for the next level of (math)?”
Ask them if they are going to place your child in classes they have already mastered, (instilling boredom), and prevent them from advancing to the appropriate instructional level.
Call out the bluff.
Do they not have evidence from your child’s classroom work from the entire year to guide their decisions? Are they seriously going to consider placing your child in classes based on one test with no research to back up its validity?
Do not back down. The test scores are invalid. Filtering children at young ages based on one test is D I S C R I M I N A T O R Y.
Consider test score trends in New York State. Standards are changed, cut scores are changed, and the test itself changes year to year. The ole’ Apples and Oranges Comparison. It is all such a scam.
Advocate for your child. Make an appointment with the Superintendent if need be. Attend a School Board Meeting and share your concerns. Copy the reports. Hand them out!
How to Opt Out in High School in WA State
This is a tougher one with the current legislation. Staying on top of current bills and requirements are critical.
For now here is the latest:
You can opt your high school aged child out as long as they meet graduation requirements in other ways. Sadly, this ends up meaning that the SBA (Smarter Balanced Assessment) is the easiest way. However, if your child takes the SAT or ACT, they could use those scores.
An Opt Out Letter to the principal is necessary. Then call or email the high school principal and explain how strongly you feel about your child not taking the state’s high stakes test. Ask them for clear direction and honesty in regards to the current other available paths for your child to graduate.
The more letters, emails, and phone calls they receive, the more they will hear the message regarding the unethical high stakes testing policies.
Other options could be available too…. Like writing your legislators in opposition of high stakes testing. Have your child write them too!
Sample Opt Out Letters
The following are the Opt Out Letters I wrote:
1) My Son is More Than a Score… My Reasons for Opting Out of Testing
2) Short Form Opt Out Letter to My Son’s Principal
If you are still unsure about why to Opt Out…
My best to all parents joining this crusade for all children.
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