Monday, September 16, 2013

Standardized Testing Season: Did You Want to Opt Out?

It's standardized testing season and I have a whole lot to say about that (very little time, though!). But my friend Heather shared her "I am opting my child out of standardized testing" letter, and since you might want a sample letter, here it is. She says you can share it.

Dear _________ Public Schools, 
Last school year our family “opted out” or withdrew our child from some of the standardized assessments imposed on children across the state. Our decision to “opt out” in no way reflected on the teachers, administration, or school board. This was not an easy decision for us, but we feel that we had no other choice. We simply see these tests as harmful, expensive, and a waste of time and valuable resources.
This year we will continue our effort to eliminate unnecessary and harmful assessments in our public schools. Our child will not participate in any assessments other than those solely for the use of the individual classroom teacher. 
We refuse to allow any data to be used for purposes other than the individual teacher’s own formative or cumulative assessment. Any assessment whose data is used to determine school ranking, teacher effectiveness, state or federal longitudinal studies or any other purpose other than for the individual classroom teacher’s own use to improve his or her instruction will not be presented to our children. To be clear, our child will not participate in the following: 
• Any state assessments. 
• Any so-called “benchmark” exams whether they are teacher-designed or not, since these exams are imposed by entities other than the individual teacher. 
• Any surveys, or “field tests” given by corporate or government entities or testing companies  
• Any “standardized” test. 
We will be encouraging other parents to stand up against the testing fad and, more importantly, the corporate and government takeover of our schools. We believe in and trust our highly qualified and dedicated teachers and administrators. We believe that our child’s education should be trusted in the hands of those who are most experienced and who personally know the needs and individual requirements of each child. 
Teachers already know how to determine those needs and requirements without mandated standardized testing. Our schools will not suffer when these tests are finally gone. They will flourish.__________Public Schools should have a unified policy in place to address children who will be opting out of assessments. 
Thank you.


  1. I know you're from A2 public schools, but I'm dying to know if any parents have had luck opting out of testing at an NHA school. Endless Google searches have brought back nothing.

  2. Yes, there are opt outs at charters including NHA.