Saturday, April 4, 2015

Are You Having Your Child Opt Out?

Many parents are having their children opt out of standardized test.   The following letter appears in full on 

Many parents are opting out for many reasons, for more information about common core and standardized testing in New Hampshire visit Stop Common Core in New Hampshire.

Letter to my Daughter’s Teacher: Why We’re Opting her out of the State Tests

Dear Grace,
It is with the highest level of respect for you that I’m writing to inform you that Haven will not participate in the state mandated standardized tests this April. Using student test scores to rate and rank students and teachers is an ethically unsound practice and is degrading to the profession of teaching.
This year I have been in awe of your incredible skills as Haven’s teacher, and I know that no standardized test can come even close to capturing what she has learned in your classroom. Furthermore, your bravery and resolve in the face of the top down pressures from the State of New York may weigh on you, but you do not let that determine your curricular decisions. Instead you teach with your heart and soul, and your excitement has ignited Haven’s passion for social studies, reading, writing, and mathematics. No standardized test can measure the spirited dinner conversations Haven has initiated this year about immigration, thanks to your elaborately designed integrated social studies curriculum. I listen carefully as Haven describes class field trips in New York City, her excitement about historical fiction, and her deep analysis of primary sources and questions regarding privilege, prejudice and access. I cannot count the number of times Haven has greeted me at the door with, “Mom, did you know…?!” No test could possibly be designed to measure the multitude of ways in which she extends the investigations you start in class, or document the initiation she has taken to write her own books at home about the immigrants living in her mind. Her learning is demonstrated in her written work, performance of role-plays, various conversations, not to mention your regular curriculum newsletters, extensive and detailed narrative reports, and personal emails. Watching Haven learn this year has deepened my own commitment to preparing teachers to design integrated curriculum that examines enduring questions and takes up multiple perspectives. Haven’s learning is travelling far beyond the walls of your single classroom. I do not need a test score to validate her learning this year.

Continue reading the letter here.


"Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education." - Victor Hugo

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