Saturday, January 18, 2014

Great opt out advice

Here are some excellent quotes from Jeanette of Long Island Opt Out:

Sit & Stare if refusing the state assessments?
"It's official: NYSED NEVER issued a "sit and stare" mandate, rule, regulation, or policy. According to Deborah Brooks, our group's "pro bono lawyer" who works tirelessly for us, she spoke directly, and at length, with a reliable person at NYSED, there is no statute, regulation, or policy -- written or otherwise -- mandating "sit and stare." Rather, NYSED decided to give every school district discretion regarding how to handle the refusal children. All matters regarding the refusal are left entirely to the discretion of each respective individual school district. It is up to each district to decide whether -- or not -- to place a test in front of each student; it is up to the district to decide whether -- or not -- to allow the refusal child to read or do a quiet activity; it is up each district to decide whether -- or not -- to have the refusal child sit in the library (or some other place) so as avoid possible distraction to other children; it is up to each district to decide whether -- or not -- to force a child to verbally refuse the test, etc. Districts are under no obligation to provide an alternate activity for a refusal child."

Our decision, not NYSED's
"REMEMBER: you are not asking for permission for your child to opt out or "refuse". You are INFORMING the district that your child will NOT be taking the NYS Assessments!!!!!! When a district states "no you cannot", your response should be "I'm sorry, I think you misunderstood me. As "Johnny's" parent, I was INFORMING you of our final decision on this matter." "

Partner with your school to work out the best plan for families who refuse.
If you have made the decision to refuse the NYS assessments for your child(ren), and you haven't already, lets get those letters in.... I have heard from many administrators that the sooner we get those letters in, the sooner they can make appropriate arrangements for refusal students. Lets help out our schools on this and give them ample notice. A smooth testing day (or non-testing day!) will help schools, teachers, and most importantly our children.