Here is the most recent Testing Refusal Letter we have put together. Be warned that there are schools bullying parents and telling us that we cannot refuse/opt out.
We encourage you to prepare yourselves with as much knowledge as possible when you approach your schools.
1) Parents are NOT required to have a face to face meeting with the principal.
2) Parents are NOT required to sign the DCSD Evidence of Refusal Form.
Here are a few helpful websites we have found:
Why Opt out/Refuse the PARCC state mandated test?
To begin with, PARCC is one of the places where your child is being data mined. The information from this test is sold to third party vendors for profit. In addition, these tests are designed with failure in mind. 30% of students that participate in these state mandated standardized tests are guaranteed to FAIL! Why? Because each test costs between $15.00 and $30.00 per student to administer and if 30% are guaranteed to fail then they retake the test at a tremendous profit to the TESTING COMPANIES!! Furthermore, these test will now comprise 30% of our student's instructional time over the course of the school year! 30%!! That is 30% of time that is wasted to help testing companies make huge profits off of our children's information. Time that is better spent LEARNING! How's that for a concept?
Also scary, parents and students will never see the results of these tests.
If enough parents opt out or refuse to allow their children to take the test and schools begin to lose accreditation as a direct result of this movement, the Colorado Department of Education will be forced to revise their policies towards standardized testing and then maybe, just maybe our teachers can get back to teaching and our students can get back to learning!
Name of School: ________________________________________
Standardized Assessment Refusal Form 2014-15
Student Name: ______________________________________
My child, ____________________________, will not be taking any of the PARCC/CMAS tests in English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies including the upcoming PARCC/CMAS practice tests, additionally, do not at any time have my student log in, view, or participate in any PARCC/CMAS activities.
Per my parental decision to refuse the tests, my child should not be asked about my refusal to allow participation, should not be pressured to participate, and should not be asked to make up the tests during the make up window.
The decision to refuse this standardized testing is an informed decision that involved researching all the potential outcomes, additionally; the decision to refuse testing did not come easily or without much thought and consideration.
This refusal is in no way a reflection of any dissatisfaction with our school. Our refusal IS about my dissatisfaction with the current state of over testing, the loss of learning, and the data collection during the tests. I understand that Colorado law requires all students have the opportunity to take the PARCC/CMAS; it is still my desire and right to refuse all the PARCC/CMAS tests.
Parent Signature: ________________________________________________________________
Please Print Full Name: ___________________________________________________________
Will opting out/refusing state mandated standardized tests hurt me or my child?
- No! Schools may be required to test all students, but there is no law requiring the parents to allow their children to be tested. The Colorado Dept. of Education does not even enforce the law. CDE regulations concerning tests require school districts to test at least "95% of the children." There is no punitive action against the parent or student. The Douglas County School District only requires evidence that information was provided to the parent. It is the responsibility of the DCSD to provide information and they must show that they did so and that the parent understood it. It is not meant to imply any negative action against parents or students.
Will opting out/refusing state mandated tests affect the funds my school receives causing teachers to lose their jobs and my school to close down?
- No! This is one of the biggest myth’s circulating about the opt out movement! Refusing to allow your child to be tested does not affect a school’s funding at all. However, it can affect the school’s accreditation.
What does it mean if a school loses its accreditation and what if accreditation loss is only due documented cases of students who opt out/refuse these tests?
- It can't be. There are levels of accreditation and a school will only drop one accreditation level for not reaching the 95% student participation threshold. This is a school threshold, not grade level.
So, if in 2014, 90% of students in a school test, they drop one level that year. Then in 2016, 85% of students in that same school test, we drop another level...am I understanding it correctly?
- No. If your school has a performance rating it would become an “improvement school” or worst case, fall into “turnaround” status. Only if the rating drops to “improvement”and testing is less than 95% would it become a priority improvement school. You would only drop 1 performance level from what the test scores indicate.
What happens to schools that drop to “improvement” or “turnaround” status?
- For individual schools in priority improvement or turnaround status, there is a five-year calendar, and many, many options exist for schools that find themselves in turnaround status. It is a five year process. At the five year mark a school must significantly change its programming, could be taken over by the state, or be closed. Changes are made throughout the entire five years, and include plan of action by the principal, School Advisory Committee, district, and in a charter school, the governing board. There are requirements for parental engagement meetings, and detailed written plans of action via the Unified Improvement Plan.
So if a school loses accreditation will it affect how much money that school receives from the state?
- No! There are no dollars attached to a school's rating. Dollars are allocated by the state funding formula, on a per pupil basis. Additional dollars only flow with specific needs, and are related more to the number of those students that a district, not a specific school, serve. Funding is NOT tied to a schools Unified Improvement Plan in any way.
If a school does not have at least 95% of its students taking the tests, their rating drops?
- Yes, this is true. If they do not get 95% participation, school rating is affected. This puts parents in a bad position. They either choose what they believe is best for their own child or they choose what is best for the school. The entire opt out movement is based on what a parent thinks is best for his/her child. If enough parents refuse the test, it disables a 'bad' testing and data collection system. It is a difficult position to be in as a parent.
Do I have to meet face to face with my school’s principal if I want to opt out/refuse my child?
- No! Parents are NOT required to have a face to face meeting with the principal.
Am I required to sign the DCSD Evidence of Refusal form?
- No! Parents are NOT required to sign the DCSD Evidence of Refusal Form. Just hand in your opt out/refusal letter you can download from this website. Just look for the button underneath the refusal letter!
Do I have to opt out/refuse state mandated tests for my child every school year or is just once enough?
- We recommend and encourage parents to renew their file each year as new tests are being developed and implemented each new school year.