27 thoughts on “Opt Out of High Stakes Testing: Event on April 9th at 5:00 p.m.

  1. Thank you, Ricardo, for your courage and for writing such a thorough and well-reasoned letter about the misguided emphasis on high-stakes testing and the harm it is doing to vulnerable youth and their families. I found this statement particularly intriguing: “A number of school systems across the country have been exposed for cheating and unethical practices due to the pressures of high-stakes testing. They are, in short, becoming Enron.” I think the comparison to Enron is very apt, in that the people in positions of authority not only have no awareness of the negative ramifications of their policies, but have disdain for the people their policies affect. I am going to forward this to Mark Naison. I'm sure he'll be pleased to know what is stirring in SE MA and RI. Thanks again, Sheila Resseger

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  2. Ricardo, Thank you for the courage of taking the step to protect your children from this abusive measure. I want to ask your permission to share this letter with the families in Denver where we, Opt-Out have been asked to help with their desire to opt their children out of the test.Ruth RodriguezUnited Opt-Out

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  3. Half my students are looking for any breaks they can impose upon! They don't want to do anything because it is a Monday or Friday, and Wednesday is “hump day” so why do anything then!? They are sluggish on Thursday because they tell me it “feels like a Friday” already! On Tuesday some try to squeeze in a “cat nap.” Forget RIGOR!

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  4. There seems to be a lot of confusion, from Barnstable, to Worcester, to New Bedford about the PAARC field test. It is a field test so opting out is very, very different than opting out of an actual standardized test like MCAS.

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  5. I am against high-stakes testing, but have some major reservations about opting my kids out of MCAS. Let me explain: I am not worried about my kids' performance on MCAS. I suspect that, like Dr. Rosa's children, they will do very well. I am worried that an opt-out movement would be biased toward more involved and informed parents, while the children that are struggling the most to learn because of negligent parents and dysfunctional homes are left taking the tests. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that parents who would not opt-out of the test are negligent or misinformed. What I’m saying is that, in all likelihood, such a movement would exclude the parents that are most disinterested in their child’s education, and whose children are most likely to perform at a lower achievement level (consider how few parents showed up for the Parker School meeting). That would result in many of our schools having lower assessments and put them at greater risk of level 4 (or even 5) designation. Until we fix the state legislation that has facilitated this ridiculous turnaround plan, I don’t want my children’s school more vulnerable to level 4 or 5 designation. I understand that change has to start somewhere, but I would rather my children take the MCAS than have them and their entire school subjected to a turnaround plan that would rattle and undermine their education.

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  6. Unfortunately, the Turnaround Plan Express is rolling. It started with the HS, now an elementary school. Do you think it will end there? The system has been heading in the wrong direction for years, and nothing the teachers did or asked for came to fruition. Poverty and apathy of parents, lack of materials, resources, technology, and discipline supports have been decried by teachers. Administrators shrugged and told us to suck it up and do more with less. And so we did – year after year. And now we have hit rock bottom, only to be told that it is our fault. MCAS is only another straw that we've carried for the last decade. I don't know what else to say.

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  7. Oh yes, the former-“Do more with less.” has now become “Fire in the belly”….drain your people, then tell them to work smarter not harder, then tell them they don't understand what rigor or excellence look like. That's NBPS in a nutshell.

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  8. Let's fight this battle..have every student opt out of all the tests..Enough is enough..When every student in every school has to take it I.e. Private Catholic ………then it might be on equal footing ,but it is discriminatory as it stands.

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  9. Informational pamplets should go out to parents. The superintendent isn't going to tell them they can opt out.She hides from the truth.

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  10. Someone please explain to me how students who are home schooled or attend private schools are not required to participate in MCAS? If MCAS is preparing students to be college ready, are kids that are home-schooled or attend private schools any less prepared for college? The answer would be no…..they are just as prepared if not more because they are not taught with such rigid measures and requirements. It's a shame that the state does not see the harm that high stakes tests is doing to kids.

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  11. Email sent to staff from Dr. D. that there is NO such thing as OPT OUT today. Then we were warned that the DESE will be walking around and checking.

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  12. It's real easy to understand…we will give money for MORE TESTING but we will not provide a decent, well-rounded education to our city students…we shall only measure their success on poorly designed instruments. THE END

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  13. Since MCAS begins tomorrow–an April 9th date is too late for this round of testing(PARCC pilot testing is also early April).

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  14. Students who are home-schooled still have a connection to a district. They come in to take the MCAS. They can chose to come in for any specials such as gym, if they choose.

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  15. If parents want to opt out they would have to keep their child home from the day MCAS begins, example being ELA test begins March 18 and ends March 31. That is 10 school days. Then Math/Science and Tech is May 5 to 20 so that is 12 school days. So a child would have to be absent 22 days to ensure they would not be forced to participates. Do not forget, once a child has 10 unexcused absences, can be forced to repeat grade and parents can be taken to court. Not much of a choice is it?

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  16. The superintendent had the option of opting all the fifth graders taking PARCC out of MCAS. All our fifth graders will take both at the chosen schools. All those days of no rigorous learning.

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