Local School Councils can play an important role at the school-level in minimizing the harm that high-stakes standardized testing is doing to our students, teachers, and schools:
- Encourage your LSC to pass a resolution against high-stakes testing, either the National Resolution or one of these suggested versions (I, II, or III).
- Send or bring a copy of your adopted testing resolution to your local, state and federal legislators.
- Hold a parent and/or community meeting where people can talk about testing. Ask teachers, education experts, More Than a Score or one of our coalition group representatives to speak, and invite your local newspaper. (See FairTest’s media toolkit for pointers.)
- Send an LSC rep to our meetings and attend MTAS forums and events.
- Join our MTAS list serve (http://lists.pureparents.org/listinfo.cgi/chicagotestingresistance-pureparents.org)
- Consider carefully any budget expenditures for test preparation materials and programs. Your school’s discretionary funds are precious and might be better used for enrichment programs and other areas of learning which may have been reduced due to the pressures of standardized testing.
- Share this list of action steps that LSCs can take with your Local School Council.
I am contacting you regarding your OPT OUT letter and “how to” part.. It says that the CPS Office of Assesment as of 1/2013 states that a letter to opt out of standardized testing is sufficient. I called the office and the receptionist said they don’t recommend that. If this applies to CPS, would it apply to suburban schools in Cook County? How can I find out? ISBE told me we do not have the option and I am interested in opting out of the WIDA ( yearly 4 hour English Language Learner test) where my son was over identified (not an English language learner).
The CPS Office of Assessment does not recommend opting out, but CPS has acknowledged many times in writing that parents have the right to opt their children out of any test that isn’t a state-mandated test.
Other school districts outside Chicago may have other policies, but there’s nothing barring them from acknowledging parental opt out, so we recommend that parents operate under the assumption that opt out is permitted and inform the school of what standardized testing your child will not be participating in.
State-mandated tests are a different category because the state has told districts that children must refuse state testing and that they should ignore parental requests and rights with respect to opting out of state testing. You may be told that your child must refuse the ELL test himself (as opposed to them acknowledging your opt out request).
However, if you feel that your child should not be categorized as an English-language learner, exercising your right to decline ELL services and/or remove your child from the program may better address the real issue in this case (because it would mean that WIDA/ACCESS administration would no longer be an issue.)
You should contact your district’s ELL department for more info. You can email us if you have more questions: firstname.lastname@example.org