Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Debunking NYSED's talking points

A good look at the reality instead of the 'spin' provided by NYSED officials. 

Presentation by Long Island Principal Sean Feeney which debunks much of NYSED's talking points.

My look at how NYSED "cherry picks" data for its agenda.

Mr. Feeney's presentation:

Accountability in the Age of Pearson: Advocating for What works in Schools

Refusal (opt out) guide updated.

Your family can REFUSE the New York State Assessments:

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this document.

You can download the PDF file here:
   or view/download below.

Additional information for refusals:

Here is important information on the "999" refusal code from NYSED documents. 

According to the 2014 Educator Test Guides your child can read when completing (or refusing!!) the test.  This is a local school decision, so check with your school.

When Students Have Completed Their Tests
Students who finish their assessment before the allotted time expires should be encouraged to go
back and check their work. Once the student checks his or her work, or chooses not to,
examination materials should be collected by the proctor. After a student’s assessment materials
are collected, that student may be permitted to read silently.* This privilege is granted at the
discretion of each school. No talking is permitted and no other schoolwork is permitted.
(Located on page 9 in the ELA guide and page 7 in the Math guide.)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Testing & Common Core forums throughout NYS

Several forums on testing and the Common Core have been held and many more have been scheduled across New York State.  Unlike the meetings convened by Commissioner King you will hear from real experts in education.  The presenters will have the opportunity to give detailed discussions on the state of our schools instead of two minute speeches followed by Commissioner King defending his policies.

Visit New York Allies for Public Education for more information:


NYS Allies for Public Education represents many education groups from across the Empire State.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Let's clear up the mystery on the 999 Refusals


There is much confusion over students who "refuse" or opt out of the NYS Assessments.  Schools are often unsure how to proceed when first confronted with families who choose to boycott the state assessment system.

 The 2013-14 SIRS Manual makes it very clear:


"Refusal: Students who refuse to take the entire test must be reported at the local
level with a final score of "999" and a standard achieved code of 96, indicating refusal,
whether or not there are any response records. Assessment records for these students
do not move to Level 2 of the Student Information Repository System. These students
will be considered to have "no valid test score" and will be counted as not tested in
verification reports and for accountability calculations. Students who refused to take one
or more but not all sessions or parts of the test will receive no credit for the session(s) or
part(s) they refused to take, and a scale score and performance level will be calculated
based on the questions answered."

The key quote explains it all:
" These students (refusals) will be considered to have "no valid test score" and will be counted as not tested "

If your child "refuses" to take the NYS Grade 3-8 ELA, math or science assessments it is as if your child did not take the exam at all.  Your child does not receive a zero or one as their score.  As a result of having "no valid test score" your child cannot be compelled to enter the Academic Intervention Services (AIS) program because they did not receive a score to qualify them for the extra help. (Note: if you refuse, you can still work with your child's school to receive AIS if you feel your child needs the extra support)

Use this information when you communicate with your child's school.  Some administrators are not aware of these provisions, while others may use scare tactics to convince you not to opt out or refuse.  Stick to the facts, they appear right in the SIRS Manual.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

This is why we must continue to fight the high-stakes testing-machine.

This is why we must continue to fight the high-stakes testing-machine.

Professing and Parenting to the Test: Education Reform and the Testing Madness
" Nevermind that the country that ranks first in most international standards (Finland) doesn't test until high school, the reformist-minded folks at the New York State Education Department are so excited about these tests that they are now having schools try them on four and five-year-olds. Reported results are astonishing (see here.) Kids, who could barely hold pencils, struggled to bubble in answers, while teachers, whose ratings are tied to student performance, were forced to stand idly by in frustration."

From Carol Burris:
A ridiculous Common Core test for first graders
"My speech teacher came to see me. She was both angry and distraught. In her hand was her 6-year-old’s math test. On the top of it was written, “Topic 2, 45%”. On the bottom, were the words, “Copyright @ Pearson Education.” After I got over my horror that a first-grader would take a multiple-choice test with a percent-based grade, I started to look at the questions"

My little test taker: Learning or test prep?
"Bubbling practice. This is the first I have seen of bubbling on a sent-home worksheet, but I know WHY it is there. It is there to get her to become an expert of reading comprehension questions and to select the best answer by filling in a circle. Alexandra won’t be tested (officially) until third grade. She is in FIRST GRADE now."

Saturday, October 19, 2013

It has been awhile...

Sorry for the lack of updates on my blog, but I have been busy!

Here are some of my recent contributions on education websites:

I have a very serious concern about the use of curriculum modules from the NYS Education Department's EngageNY website.  Many districts are mandating the use of these lessons.  I explain my worries on my community's education website: So What Are These Modules?

Commissioner King canceled town halls across NYS after cutting off parental questions at the first forum.  I discuss this serious issue and other thoughts on "At the Chalkface". 

Please visit New York State Allies for Public Eduction for more actions to save our public education system.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Teachers cheer for students to fail?

As children head back to school this week in New York State they may be subjected to Student Learning Objective assessments in the first week or two of the school year.  An SLO pre-test is supposed to determine a student’s prior knowledge of a subject to help calculate teacher growth for an educator’s evaluation.  Now imagine how students feel, particularly very young children, when they encounter words and phrases completely foreign to them at the beginning of the school year.  Will frustration set them up for failure at the beginning of the school year?

This madness is a result of the new teacher evaluation law in New York.  Teachers without a state test tied to their course may need to use a SLO pre-test depending on their grade level or subject. Educators will actually hope their students score low on these pre-assessments so the teacher can show more academic growth from pre-test to final exam.

This is what education reform policy has done to our schools: Teachers will cheer against their students.

Parents need to determine if their child will be taking any of these assessments and let their school know that their child will not be taking these tests that are a waste of time and used for invalid methods of teacher evaluation.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Guide to early childhood- must read for parents

Thank you to United Opt Out and Nancy Carlsson-Paige for their work on this tremendous guide.  This is a must read and share for parents in the eras of high-stakes and Common Core.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

More on the 95% Participation question.

Many families who are considering opting out or refusing the New York State Assessments have a major concern about the impact on their children's schools.

New York State Allies for Public Education has produced research on this important question:

    Click here for FAQ's on the 95% participation issue: 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Which test takes the most time?

My 3rd grader will not be a part of this madness. Opt Out.

Thank you to "Lace to the Top".

Monday, August 26, 2013

2013 Opt Out letter

Here is a copy (with names removed) of our 2013 Opt Out letter.  We were successful in boycotting all local testing (SLO, RTI-AIMSweb) last year using a similar letter.  Our district denied our right to "opt out" of the state assessments in the spring, but we used the "refusal" process to justify the boycott.

(School Admin)

Dear _________________,

Last school year our family “opted out” or withdrew our children _________________ from all mandated assessments imposed on children by state and federal regulations. We truly appreciate the cooperation and professionalism of the _________________ staff in helping our family boycott harmful education policies.

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. The explosion of high-stakes tests, student data collection and teacher evaluation systems are draining scarce financial resources from our schools.

This year we will continue our effort to eliminate unnecessary and harmful assessments in our public schools. Our children 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 children will not participate in the following:

• Any state assessment. Our children will “refuse” according to NYSED's regulations covered under the “999” testing code.

• Pre-assessments connected to “Student-Learning Objectives” in all subjects, including art, music, and Physical Education.

• Any surveys, or “field tests” given by corporate or government entities or testing companies.

• Any progress-monitoring or RTI assessments such as AIMSweb, STAR, or DIBELS

• Any exam used to formulate an evaluation or score for our children’s teachers or their school.

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 children’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. Ironically we hear the phrase “college and career ready” bantered about quite often, but the current testing madness will not prepare our children for their lives after graduation.

___________ should have a unified policy in place to address children who will be opting out of assessments. Our schools should also send a letter to all homes informing parents of the dates of all mandated testing. Very few parents are aware of the amount of required testing that our children face on a regular basis. Our schools have the obligation to inform the families of our community about all aspects of our children’s education.

Thank you for your time.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Opt out / refusal guide updated.

Thank you to Sara W. for her great efforts on this document.

Click here if you cannot view on your device or browser.

This file can be viewed by clicking the arrows above. There is a full screen option. This file can also be downloaded as a powerpoint or PDF file.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Test reports: send 'em back

From the folks at New York State Allies for Public Education:

Did your child take the New York State Assessments?  Are you disturbed by the results?

You can make a powerful statement by sending the test results back to Education Commissioner John King with the statement “INVALID TEST SCORES ENCLOSED” written on the envelope.  This campaign is taking place across New York State.

You will receive your child’s test score in the mail sometime between late August and early October.  On the front of the envelope be sure to write “INVALID TEST SCORES ENCLOSED”.  Send it to:

Dr. John B. King, Jr
Education Commissioner 
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234

Be sure to send you test score Certified Return Receipt so that someone has to sign for it at NYSED.

In addition, you should also send the scores back to your NYS Board of Regents member.  Most of the members have their home address listed here: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/members/

If your child refused to take the tests you can send back a copy of your school district’s scores as a way to protest.  Your district's scores can be found here.


My letter to Regent Bennett:

Opting Out is not just in the spring anymore.

The spring 3-8 state assessments get a great deal of attention, but there are other mandated tests that could be used to evaluate teachers.  These additional tests cause our children to lose more instruction time and impact all grade levels- preK-12.  Families need to say enough is enough and boycott any tests that are used in the evaluation of teachers. 

Student Learning Objective
"A Student Learning Objective is an academic goal for a teacher’s students that is set at the start of a course" according to NYSED's EngageNY website.

Depending on grade level and scheduled special area subjects, your child may take an SLO pre-test very early in the school year.  Teachers that do not have a state assessment (3-8 or Regents) may have to give an SLO test early in the school year or semester.  The SLO process has been confusing for schools and each district may chose different methods to implement SLOs.

Rating teachers without a state assessment tied to their course/grade level may be accomplished using these methods to get the mandated state 20% of their evaluation:

1.  *SLO pre-test. Given very early in the school year or semester(for half-year secondary courses)

2.  Teacher uses "historical data".  Educators may use past state assessment scores, final exam numbers, or previous grades to determine an academic goal for the year. This method does allow for less testing of your child.

3. School-wide use of ELA scores. Some teacher APPR evaluation agreements will use the ELA State Assessment scores as the 20% for teachers without state assessments tied to their course.  This does reduce amount of testing for our children.

Which method(s) does your child's school use?  Contact teachers and principals to find out. Most districts have their APPR teacher evaluation agreements posted on their websites, but the documents are lengthy and complex. 

Other types of standardized testing.                                        

There are other standardized tests that your children may take that your child's teacher is forced to administer.  These could be used for teacher evaluation or progress monitoring. These mandated assessments take away more instruction and add to the amount of time lost to testing.

Last year I submitted this letter for my elementary children which was honored by our school. My children did not take any tests that we used for evaluation of their teachers except one that slipped by our watch.

Later in the year the school told us that our oldest child could not "opt out" of the state assessments, but we used the "refusal" process to successfully justify our boycott.

If you plan to opt out your child from all mandated testing I would suggest a blanket statement such as "any assessment used to evaluate a teacher". Parents are the key to ending the over-testing of our children.  If we take action: boycotts, letters to editor, speaking at PTA meetings, and contacting our elected leaders we can save our children's education.

*If your child's teacher(s) will be use a SLO test for evaluation is it important to boycott the pre-test.  For students at upper levels, especially high and middle school, the post-exam could be used as a final exam so boycotting the end of year assessment will be more difficult.  If we refuse the pre-test, a student who takes the post-test will not be part of evaluating their teacher.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Some reactions to today's NYSED state assessment score release.

From Carol Burris, Long Island Principal:

What big drop in new standardized test scores really means

From Voorheesville Superintendent Dr. Teresa Thayer Snyder: (Added 8/8)

Commentary on Math & ELA Results


From Diane Ravitch: (with a shout out to opting out!)

Who Is Destroying Public Education in New York State?

More from Ms. Ravitch: (added 8/8)

Who should parents and the public hold accountable for the collapse of test scores? ....state education officials

From Ms. Ravitch's blog:   (added 8/8)

Those Phony, Misleading Test Scores: A NY Principal Reacts

From Class Size Matters:

Five Reasons not to trust the new scores.


From an education advocate: An important message to students, educators, and parents.

From Principal Peter DeWitt: (added 8/8)

Don't Worry About Your Test Scores: Proud to be ineffective.

Recalling the disaster that was this spring's ELA exam:

New York ELA day 2 disaster #FAIL #Pearson #NYSED



Monday, July 29, 2013

Another reason to fight the madness of the high-stakes testing machine

#1 reason = educational harm to our children. 


From NYS Senate Assessment hearing June 2012


** This cost also does not include other mandated testing such as RTI, Student-Learning Objectives(SLO), Achievement tests, and other assessments used locally.

Thank you to Sara W. for sharing the powerpoint that contained this cost graphic.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Excellent media report about testing and data sharing.

Western New York has been a hot bed of high-stakes testing resistance this year. This media report from our local CBS affiliate is the most detailed look at testing issues and student data sharing I have seen anywhere in the "mainstream media".

Parents take stand against standardized tests

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Field Tests - the "refusals" continue.


Field testing is coming to your child's school soon.  If your child is in grades 3-8 they just finished 6 days of grueling assessments, yet NYSED and Pearson expect your child to waste more time in test mode. High School students are also impacted with field testing, taking away valuable time as the Regents Exams approach.

What is field testing?  Please read this from last spring.

NYSED Field Test page.

Talk to your school board and administration to have your school bypass the field test.  There is no harm to your school, teachers, or students. The field test is not used to evaluate a school, teacher, or students.

If your school will not boycott the test, have your child refuse the test.  Encourage other parents to do so as well.  Only Pearson Corporation will be harmed by the boycott.  Do not let your child perform labor so a billion dollar corporation can profit.  Do not let your child be a test subject or guinea pig.

The field test is usually about 30 minutes in length, so most students can pass the time by daydreaming, drawing on the booklet, or writing a letter to Pearson on the exam.

Here is the list of schools assigned to field testing at the elementary/intermediate level(3-8 testing (excel download)

Here is the list of schools assigned to field testing at the high school level (excel download)

*Schools are listed by individual school name, not district.
*Not all schools are listed, your child's school may have had the field test assignments in the fall.

Dates of 3-8 Field Testing per NYSED.   Contact your child's school for the exact date.(click to enlarge)

If you have a child in 4th or 8th grade, the NYS Science Assessment will be coming in late May More on that later.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

More on 95% participation.

The fine folks at Re-Thinking Testing have put together research to clear up some of the mystery and concerns around the 95% participation issue if families decide to boycott the State Assessments.

Click here to read their work.

Read here as well:

Comply or Be Punished


Saturday, April 20, 2013

NYS testing week disasters.

After week one of the New York State Assessments we have witnessed that year two of the NYSED-Pearson marriage is not much better than last year.  This year's educational experiment with the Common Core has had more than its share of problems.  We could get a good laugh from these follies if NYSED and Pearson were not harming our children.

Here are some stories about this week's testing:

DAY 2 ELA disaster examples. From yours truly.

NY/Pearson ELA epic fail.  From NYC Public School parents.

DAY 3 ELA problems.    Me again.

As if our children need more commercialization in their lives. Should we start calling the Common Core State Standards the "Corporate Commercial State Standards"?
Product placement in our children's exams.

And we have bridge to sell, as well

This Test Brought To You By....

If schools buy Pearson workbooks, your students will excel at Pearson's State Assessments

An 8th grader's brilliant parody of an NYS Assessment.

5th grader: " I don't want to a test slave"

6 insulting things NYSED keeps repeating.

An Open Letter to NY Ed Commish King. Thank you.

A parent wonders why there are "so many hours for testing?"

NYSED Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch shows she is out of touch: "I would be so bold as to say they were better than most people expected them to be"

How a New York student feels about the State Assessments.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Guinea Pigs and Frustration

Did you know that the NYS Assessments that will be forced upon children across the Empire State contain "embedded field test" questions?  Field test questions are "trial' questions to see if they make a good question for future examinations produced by Pearson.

How does this impact your child?
  • Makes the test a longer period of time.
  • Your child will not know this is a "fake" question.  
  • Could this throw your child's entire test results off as he or she is frustrated by a question that does not count on the test? 
From  NYSED : Memo: Spring 2013 Grades 3–8 Common Core English Language Arts and Mathematics Tests and Grades 3–8 English Language Arts and Mathematics Field Tests

In this another example of Pearson and NYSED using our children?  Pearson gets a large sum of money to produce the assessment for New York, can't they come up with test questions without adding to the frustration already experienced by our children? 


Friday, April 12, 2013

Choose to Refuse!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I have received many questions about the 95%  participation rate of students tested and what happens to our schools.

I hope my piece and this website will help answer those concerns.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Yes you can.


The boycotting of state exams has created many "grey areas" in regards to "can we opt out"?  Our movement has become significant and NYSED officials have been inundated with questions from our local school districts.

A NYSED official sent school officials this memo a few weeks ago stating there is no "opting out".

As a result of this communication, parents across New York State brainstormed NYSED regulations and parental rights and created a "refusal" letter. This letter has produced positive results across New York State as districts are respecting our right to refuse.  The letter has brought forth another NYSED communication that repeats there is no "opt out" provision, but goes on to state the students may "refuse".  Some districts want students to actually sit and refuse.  Ask your district to allow your child read as per the NYS Testing Program Educator Guide to the 2013 Common Core (page 9) that permits a student to read silently while others finish their assessments.  Other schools are allowing students to go to a separate location to read, help younger classes, or complete actual school work once they "refuse the test".

So what should parents do?
  • Boycott by "refusal".  Write a letter to your child's principal, state your reasons for refusal, and request that your child be allowed to read as per the NYS Testing Program Educator Guide to the 2013 Common Core.  Use our example refusal letter as a guide.  
  • Remember that "boycotting" state assessments is new to many administrators.  Education policy is very complex and it is impossible to know all of the details. We are finding that various districts are providing different answers to parents across the state.
  • Understand the difficult situation for school administration, be respectful, but firm. Schools are under much pressure from Albany to comply with regulations that hurt our children. Be aware of this when you communicate with school officials.
  • Know your facts.  The following communication was passed my way.  It contains misleading information and statements that contradict NYSED communications.  Again, this could be a situation where this principal is unaware of all regulations.

"The only way a child would be marked as "not tested" is if the child was absent for the entire 2 weeks of school (testing and makeup period)"- This is not accurate.  Your child may refuse the test and not be compelled to make up the test. Your child does not need to be absent for 12 school days.

"the absences would be marked as "illegal" absences (and cause for educational neglect)" - This remark is troubling.  Students are marked out for "illegal absences" for vacation days with no punishment. "Educational neglect" is for serious cases of truancy and would not apply to being absent from a state test.  Bottom line is that your child should attend school and refuse the test.  School administration should respect the parent's right to "refuse" on behalf of their child.

If you feel your child cannot sit through the entire test period refusing, pull your child after the exam starts.  Several opt outers did this last year.  After the assessment timeframe ended we brought our kids back to school.  Most schools schedule the assessments in the morning, find out the exact time by contacting a teacher or school personnel.

Fight on!  Our children's education is on the line.  The amount of mandated standardized testing will increase dramatically in the future as the PARCC assessments are added to SLO, RTI, benchmark and State Assessments.  

We cannot wait for common sense to prevail.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Testing and Opt Out forum in WNY

For more information on a local group of educators and parents hosting a forum on high-stakes testing and Opting Out.

Western New Yorkers for Public Education will be hosting a forum 
to discuss standardized testing and the opt-out movement. 

The forum will be held on 
Saturday, March 23 at 3pm  
Niagara Branch Library ~ 280 Porter Avenue in Buffalo.

Go to 
wnyforpubliced.com  for more details.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A new opt out letter: "refuse"

2014 Letter here.



After several weeks of information sharing, discussion, debates, and brainstorming in the NY Opt Out facebook group, Eric M. put together this tremendous opt out letter that uses the "refusal" code "999" as the key terminology from NYSED's regulations.  The strength of this letter is that the wording of the state regulations opens up the right to "refuse" for parents and students.


Dear Administrator,

Thank you for all that you do for our school. I am writing to respectfully inform you that my child, ______________, under my guardianship and advice, will be scored as a “refusal”, with a final score of “999” and a standard achieved code of 96, on all State testing including ELA, Math and Science as described in the NYS Student Information Repository System (SIRS) Manual on page 63. Please note that a “refusal” is not the same as “absent” as they are defined differently and scored with different standard achieved codes on page 63 of the SIRS Manual. Also note that on page 20 of the 2012 Edition School Administrator’s Manual it is explained that “The makeup dates are to be used for administering makeup tests to students who were ‘ABSENT’ during the designated administration dates.” My child will specifically be scored as a “refusal”, not “absent”, and therefore my child will continue to receive a free and appropriate public education in his/her regular classroom environment during the administration of all makeup test periods as this letter provides written verification of a “refusal” for all tests.

I would ask that the school please provide an alternative activity for my child during administrative sessions of testing (not makeup tests, as my child will be in his/her regular classroom environment). However, I understand that an alternative activity is not required on the part of the school. If you are unable to provide an alternative activity for my child I would ask that you please utilize the provision of the NYS Testing Program Educator Guide to the 2013 Common Core which, on page 9, explains “When Students Have Completed Their Tests….that student may be permitted to read silently.” I am reserving the option of removing my child from school during the test administration session depending on the emotional anxiety state of my child on the day of refusal and whether or not the school will provide an alternate activity for my child.

 Thank you very much. I look forward to a great end of the school year.


Another type of Opt Out.

I knew the data sharing of our children's personal and educational information was part of the plan resulting from New York's Race to the Top agreements, but the the privacy issues go way beyond even what I expected. 

It is time to have a discussion with your local school board about sharing personal information with corporations that are using Race to the Top policy to profit from our public schools. 

I am not a conspiracy theorist in anyway, but I find this program to be very disturbing.

"K-12 student database jazzes tech startups, spooks parents"

Diane Ravitch: Your child's data now online.

Opt out information from Class size matters.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Are you in?

Occupy the Department of Education is coming to Washington, D.C. this April 4-7.

I am excited to be attending this top-notch event.  I am incredibly honored to be invited to speak, especially considering the "rock stars" who defend public education who will be presenting.

For more information about "Occupy" go to the United Opt Out Website.

Please consider attending this event. Our nation's capital would make a great spring vacation.  If you are passing through the area on the way back from Spring Break stop by and catch some of the speakers. 

Some required reading.

Here are some more great reads from around the interwebs... 

  1. Standardized testing boycotts spreading: Momentum!
  2. Greenburgh Superintendent Calls APPR Plan A 'Bad Deal' 

  3. News report on the cost of teacher evaluation systems in New York State. 

  4. NYSED and the fear machine (Part III) - don't give in!

  5. Massachusetts professors protest high-stakes tests.


  6. What is really behind the Common Core: profit. "There's gold in them thar test prep Common Core workbooks." 

  7. More on the Common Core costs and origin. 

  8. This is what happens when we neglect other subjects in favor of prepping for ELA and math assessments- we force feed curriculum into math or ELA. 

  9. Arne & Bill's misguided adventure (in education reform)

  10.  Edy the Warrior- an opt outer from Texas.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Common Core Math Blues

The new Common Core Learning Standards will create an explosion of high-stakes standardized testing in our children's classroom.

Currently you and your child (and her teacher) may be suffering from

The revolution is growing!

Everyday seems to bring more news of teachers, parents and students fighting against high-stakes testing that is harming our public schools. My website hits have exploded recently. The New York Opt Out Facebook page is growing in numbers.  Parents are starting to see the harm and are stepping up to do something about the testing madness.  

Join the revolution!

Courage! Seattle's Garfield High School teachers have refused to administer the MAP standardized test. 

Garfield High School parents and students support their teachers by opting out or refusing to take the MAP test.

Portland, Oregon students start a testing boycott.

Rhode Island Students protest high-stakes testing requirements.

Some more good reads:

Parent of autistic child: "The kids who get left behind"

If New York State was serious about education.

Longer school year or day?  How about funding our schools properly first?

Test prep, a necessary evil?

Has kindergarten become too academic?

Satire or reality…

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A much needed update

I have been very busy working with various groups and individuals fighting the high-stakes testing madness and I have neglected my website--sorry!

Opt out season is coming up soon so let's be ready!


Consider joining The Partnership for Smarter Schools  TPSS is a grassroots group of parents, school board members, educators and college professors advocating against high-stakes testing.

Here are some great reads:

Common Core and the harm to early childhood:

From Washington Post by Nancy Carlsson-Paige (Matt Damon's mother)

New York Post: Playtime is over.

How Is Common Core For Kindergartners Not Child Abuse?


Another type of opt out?  Yes.  Student data will now be collected by private corporations.


Teachers at Seattle's Garfield High School refused to administer the MAP standardized test.  Other Seattle teachers joined in.  The movement against high-stakes testing continues to gather momentum.




I will be doing my primary education writing on the website At The Chalkface, but will continue to update this website with opt out information for New York families. The Chalkface website is undergoing an update and will be better than ever will a new format on Thursday January 31st.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Your child's future?

Do you want an education controlled by a corporate monster that decides who will be certified as your child's teacher, how teachers will be evaluated, and the curriculum that your child learns?