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This is not a legal document. It is for informational purposes only. 11.2.2014



PARENTS and GRANDPARENTS!
Find out how over-testing and the misuse of testing affects YOUR children!

Ask the school to provide:
1. Names and brief descriptions of all mandated state and district assessments and
surveys being given to your child
2. Duration and frequency of these assessments
3. Whether the assessments are paper-and-pencil or administered on the computer
(If on the computer, will the use for administration of the assessments interfere
with other purposes for using the computers for instruction?)
4. Dates the assessments will be given
5. Amount of regular class time that will be devoted to preparing students for these
assessments, including practice with keyboarding skills
6. Specific explanation regarding what will be done with the data collected in
conjunction with the administration of these assessments. (If it is going to drive
instruction, please explain how.)
What guarantee can you give that my childs personally identifiable data will
be secure?
7. Will my child be using a different curriculum or materials as a result of his/her
performance? If sowhat are these programs and materials?
8. Will my child be denied art, music, phys ed, recess, or elective courses in order to
receive remedial work due to unsatisfactory test scores?
9. Are all accommodations and modifications provided according to the students
IEPs?






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This is not a legal document. It is for informational purposes only. 11.2.2014


What are the Problems with High Stakes Testing?*
HST is not scientifically-based and fails to follow the U.S. Government's own
data on learning.
Fosters test driven education that narrows the curriculum and does not meet the
individual/intellectual needs of students; it is crowding out the arts, music,
library, and even recess.
Due to the developmentally inappropriate expectations and aggressive pacing,
HST negatively affects childrens psycho/socio/emotional well-being, inexcusably
increasing the incidence of anxiety, depression, and acting out.
Reduces a childs capacity for attaining new knowledge.
Kills curiosity and love of learning.
Leads to the underserving or mis-serving of all students, especially the most
needy and vulnerable, thereby violating the principle of do no harm. HST is
particularly damaging to second language learner students, impoverished
students, and students with disabilities.
Is in opposition to the corrective action in gaps in opportunity and resources
sanctioned by the Fiscal Fairness Act.
Supports complicity of corporate interests rather than democracy based on
public concerns and public input.
Diverts greatly needed funds from public schools to corporations.
Low/poor test scores, which are likely to occur with more frequency with
Common Core and PARCC, will be used to fire teachers, create more online
learning scenarios even in elementary schools, and close more public schools to
be replaced with for-profit charter schools.
Data collection of student's private information cannot be guaranteed secure or
that it will not be abused in some way by third party entities.
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This is not a legal document. It is for informational purposes only. 11.2.2014

Re: DATA COLLECTION CONCERNS*

CHANGES MADE TO FERPA TO FIT COMMON CORE DATA COLLECTION:
The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, was enacted
in 1974 to protect the privacy of education records. In 2008 and 2011,
amendments to FERPA gave third parties, including private companies,
increased access to student data. In 2008, the amendments to FERPA expanded
the definitions of school officials who have access to student data to include
contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other parties to whom an educational
agency or institution has outsourced institutional services or functions it would
otherwise use employees to perform.
By opting out and clearly refusing to allow your childs data to be stored, you are
helping to stop Common Core and High Stakes Testing.
*ideas taken from United Opt Out National and the UOO Parent Guide to Common
Core and High Stakes Testing/ PARENTS ARE THE KEY, copyright 2013


YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PUT YOUR CHILDREN THROUGH THIS
COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE HST ORDEAL!
Opt Out/Refuse/Boycott state and federally mandated standardized testing!
RememberBoycotting the testing is not breaking the law. You do not need to
ask permissionyou are doing what is right for your child.
Further reassurance: In an email dated September 18, 2014, Dr. Phyllis Lynch, Director,
Office of Instruction, Assessment, & Curriculum at the Rhode Island Department of
Elementary & Secondary Education responded to questions regarding non-participation
in the PARCC (Common Core) testing in this way:
We expect all students to participate in state assessments, but no law requires
participation.
In response to a further email, she responded on September 24, 2014:
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This is not a legal document. It is for informational purposes only. 11.2.2014

PARCC is in the process of establishing codes for students who do not participate in the PARCC
assessment. Students who opt out of participation in the assessment, like other students who do
not take the assessment for a variety of reasons, would not receive a score. For school
accountability and for public reports, we calculate both participation rates and the percentage of
students who attain proficiency (and other scoring levels). Students who opt out of participation
on state assessments will be counted as a non-participant when we calculate participation rates,
but the nonparticipating students will not receive a score of 0 when we calculate the percent of
students who attained proficiency.
It is up to local school districts to determine what accommodations will be available to students
who do not participate in PARCC assessment. Parents should meet with their childrens
teachers or other school or district leaders to determine what their children will do during the
time when other children are taking state assessments.
Opting out of participation in state assessments, under current state laws and regulations, will
not affect a students placement, grade retention, or receipt of special services, nor will opting
out affect a teachers evaluation. Parents should discuss with local school officials whether any
local policies in their district or school can affect placement, grade retention, or receipt of special
services. For high-school students, however, participation in state assessments has been a
diploma requirement since 2003. Under a state law passed this year, state assessments cannot be
a diploma requirement until the Class of 2017 our current 10
th
graders.

Steps to Opt Out/Refuse the Testing
Inform yourself before deciding to opt your child out of testing.
If you have decided that you choose to opt your child out, notify your
childs teacher and principal in writing of your decision as early in the
school year as possible; include the reasons for your decision. Use the
term Refuse rather than opt out.
See http://unitedoptout.com/state-by-state-opt-out-2/rhode-island/ for
background information on Opting Out/Refusing in RI, and for sample
opt out letters.
United Opt Out National is a valuable resource about the corporate driven
assault on public education in general, as well as opting out of testing.
http://unitedoptout.com/
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This is not a legal document. It is for informational purposes only. 11.2.2014

Parents Across RI also has additional information about Opting Out in RI,
and a sample letter that has been successfully used by a parent in RI.
http://www.parentsacrossri.org/
You may want to suggest that your childs academic progress be
monitored with a portfolio of your childs school work, in lieu of the
standardized testing. You may also want to keep your own file of the
school work that your child brings home.
Discuss with your childs teacher and principal what the children who are
not participating will do during the time when other children are taking
the state assessments.
Make sure your administrators are aware that according to RIDE, opting
out of participation in state assessments, under current state laws and
regulations, will not affect a students placement, grade retention, or
receipt of special services, nor will opting out affect a teachers
evaluation.
Be aware that you and your child may experience pushback from the
childs teacher and the school administration. This process is new, and
even administrators may not be fully informed of parents rights. Be sure
to keep a record of all correspondence relating to the test refusal. If you
feel comfortable, provide feedback on your experience to RI Opt Out so
that other parents can benefit from your challenges and accomplishments.
(contact: sress2001@yahoo.com)

See http://fairtest.org/common-core-assessments-factsheet for a fact sheet on Common
Core Assessment Myths and Realities: Moratorium Needed From More Tests, Costs,
Stress
See http://www.fairtest.org/why-you-can-boycott-testing-without-fear for Why You
Can Boycott Standardized Tests Without Fear of Federal Penalties to Your School

Disclaimer: None of the advice presented here is to be assumed to be legal advice.
Please research thoroughly and be confident in your actions before you proceed.

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This is not a legal document. It is for informational purposes only. 11.2.2014

The information presented here is endorsed by the Coalition to Defend Public
Education (Providence, RI), United Opt Out/RI, RI BATs, Stop Common Core in RI, and
the Collapse the Core Facebook groups.