Letters to editor

It’s testing season: Opt out

By From page A8 | March 29, 2014

It’s the time of year when our teachers and students share in the anticipation of the state standardized testing; STAR testing is out, Common Core is in.

This yearly ritual has become the basis by which all of our teaching has been geared toward, especially for the past dozen or so years. Teaching revolves around taking these tests and what for? To determine how much our students have learned? To evaluate how effective our teachers are? Are the tests to quantify the excellence of the school or district? How effective do these tests actually and accurately give us that kind of information?

It’s doubtful that these tests substantially accomplish any of these things. What these tests really do is provide information on how well the teacher can teach to a test and how well a student is able to take a test. It does not show the actual knowledge a student has learned up to that point in the year.

In California, parents have the legal right to opt their children out of the state standardized testing. Yes, you read that correctly. Your children do not have to take the tests. California Education Code Section 60615 gives parents the right to opt their children out of the testing. The school districts will not tell you that, unless you ask.

Please consider opting your children out of the testing and save them the stressful two weeks of these awful tests. This year, especially, after your children have taken the new tests, you won’t get to see how well or how badly they are able to take the latest standardized test. In opting out, your district will save the $50 to $60 per child that it will take to give the test that you won’t even get to see the scores for this year.

Mark Ackerman


Letter to the Editor


Discussion | 5 comments

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  • CD BrooksMarch 29, 2014 - 7:06 am

    So you're suggesting we remove some elements in life that make our kids uncomfortable? Are you a teacher? If so, I don't want my kids in your class. But hey, if you're a "parent" go ahead and put that big old target on your kid’s forehead, they will be forever grateful. I have heard some pretty bizarre complaints against Common Core and I imagine the usual suspects will jump in here but what is the point? You should be supporting the process that is in place, they must all get through it. IMO, giving them an out is irresponsible.

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  • The MisterMarch 29, 2014 - 8:22 am

    Maybe some of that testing time could be used to teach kids to read and write cursive writing? Parents! These are government-run indoctrinations centers and they have more influence over your child than you do. But you have the responsibility of raising your child... not the government and not the school. Think about it and, if you think it best, then opt-out. Then sit your child down at the kitchen table and teach him or her cursive writing. The government elites said your kid doesn't need it. What do you think?

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  • Teach5thMarch 29, 2014 - 9:03 am

    Folks - If you want to see what the new Common Core tests are like, you can go to the Smarter Balanced website, click on Practice Tests, and take them. I would suggest you go to 5th grade, ELA tests, and take the Performance test. Then, try the 5th grade math and ELA tests. Also, kids are only taking the tests this year so they can "test the test". In other words, the tests don't go on your student's record. Still, CD, et al. - try the tests. Are you smarter (or as smart) as a 5th grader?

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  • PornacMarch 29, 2014 - 11:58 am

    These tests are another way for government to control us!

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  • Jim CMarch 29, 2014 - 8:54 pm

    The last time I looked, governments around the world find it much easier to control uneducated people rather than educated ones. I fail to see how taking a test that can be opted out of allows the government to "control us". A course in logical thinking would be helpful.

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