Saturday, March 14, 2015

Our 2015 Refusal Letter

A few notes:

  • This is our fourth year refusing the state assessments.
  • Last year our district allowed children to read in a separate location, so we are thanking school administration for respecting families who are standing up for their children's education. 

March 15, 2015

Dear Administrators & Teachers,

Thank you for all that you do for our school.

We are writing respectfully on behalf of ______________ (Grade __) and _________ (Grade ___) to refuse the New York State Assessments in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science(4th grader) this spring. As we have expressed numerous times in the last four years, our family is very concerned about the direction of education in our state. The increased importance of mandated standardized testing is having a significant negative educational impact on children and contributes to the financial crisis facing districts across the Empire State. Governor Cuomo’s education agenda and attacks on public schools have only intensified our concerns and advocacy.  We feel a mass boycott of the New York State Assessment system is the primary vehicle to reverse the wrong-headed education policies that are already federal and state law as well as halt the damaging education proposals from Governor Cuomo.  Thank you once again for listening to our concerns.

We have no issue with properly written tests that monitor our children's progress but the current assessment system does not help parents or educators achieve that goal. Despite what state education officials repeat ad nauseam, teachers are provided with very little data from the state assessments to “inform instruction”. Parents receive a vague score report that does not assist families in assessing our children's academic progress. The secretive nature of the state assessments contributes to the need for significant reversal in education policy in our state and nation. It short, the current New York assessment system has no educational value for the students of our state.

In addition, we please request that our children do not take any practice tests that are designed for the sole purpose of preparing students for the state assessments.  Please give our children an alternative activity or assignment during any practice testing, which could include reading, homework completion time, or any academic assistance they may need.

We would like to thank the {school name} administration for once again allowing our children to read in a separate location while other students are testing.   We look forward to a great end of the school year.


Sunday, March 1, 2015


Feel free to print and hand out to friends, at events, and school functions.

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Download full image here.

Download full PDF with refusal letter here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A tale of two educators

Here we have great leadership from a Superintendent who is standing up for his students against the harmful testing.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

And a Principal who needs to examine his educational priorities.

Story here:

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Top Test Takers?

My child scores well on standardized tests, so why should I boycott?

via the Real Mr. Fitz comics.  Visit his site for more great education cartoons.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

"Yeah, about the test..."

“Yeah, about the test... The test will measure whether you are an informed, engaged, and productive citizen of the world, and it will take place in schools and bars and hospitals and dorm rooms and in places of worship. You will be tested on first dates, in job interviews, while watching football, and while scrolling through your Twitter feed. The test will judge your ability to think about things other than celebrity marriages, whether you’ll be easily persuaded by empty political rhetoric, and whether you’ll be able to place your life and your community in a broader context. The test will last your entire life, and it will be comprised of the millions of decisions that, when taken together, will make your life yours. And everything, everything, will be on it. ...I know, right?” 

 ― Author John Green