Sunday, March 3, 2013

A new opt out letter: "refuse"

2014 Letter here.



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 3/3/2013


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.

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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.

Sincerely,