The federally funded testing consortium called PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), which raked in $186 million through Race to the Top to develop nationalized tests tied to the top-down Common Core program, will dragoon more than one million students into field testing this spring. The other federally funded testing consortium, the $180-million tax-subsidized Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, was supposed to start field tests this week for three million students in 23 states. But last-minute "glitches" have delayed the untested tests by at least a week, disrupting district instructional plans and calendars in 20,000 schools -- and in some cases, interfering with other test schedules for high-stakes Advanced Placement and SAT exams that do count.
Parents, teachers and administrators are fed up with Fed Ed. There's a growing grassroots movement -- left, right and center -- to opt out of this latest battery of assessments. Last week, the Worcester, Mass., school board voted to allow parents to opt out of PARCC field tests and keep their kids in regular classroom instruction. The Norfolk, Mass., school board did the same in January. Colorado State Board of Education Chairman Paul Lundeen has called on the state legislature to repeal the PARCC testing requirement.
The testing tyrants, of course, are doing everything they can to stop parents from protecting their children: deceive, bully, intimidate and obfuscate. The state of Connecticut recently sent out a misleading letter to parents warning them that "all children enrolled in public schools" are legally required to "take yearly assessments." But as parent Wendy Lecker points out, the bureaucrats failed to disclose that the mandate applies to "statewide mastery tests," not to experimental field tests such as the PARCC and SBAC pilots, which "fail to satisfy the basic elements the law clearly sets forth of the required statewide test."
Dr. Sandra Stotsky, former senior associate commissioner in the Massachusetts Department of Education and Massachusetts State Board of Education member, spells out the grounds for revolt: "(L)ocal school districts can legally refuse to give state tests because they don't address the legally adopted standards and curriculum at the local level. ... (U)nless state law explicitly forbids parents from opting their kids out of SBAC or PARCC field tests, then parents can do so, and should. They can petition their school boards to pass a policy allowing all parents to opt their kids out of all field tests for any Common Core-aligned test. And they can add that there are to be NO penalties for parents exercising that right. State (Departments of Education) cannot make policy, by law. They are threatening local districts and parents illegally."
Bottom line: No child in America is legally required to be a part of the latest Common Core lab-rat testing experiments. You are your kids' primary educational provider and decider. You have the power to flunk the latest Fed Ed testing boondoggles. Use it.
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