Submitted by United Opt Out National for immediate release: September 29, 2014
For further information:
Peggy Robertson (firstname.lastname@example.org, 720-810-5593), Ceresta Smith (email@example.com, 786-303-4785)
The number of parents and students refusing to comply with federal and state mandates for standardized testing is increasing as the 2014 – 2015 school year unfolds. In solidarity with parents and students, teachers are now taking bold steps in refusing to sign rights and responsibility agreements for test proctoring and in refusing to proctor the tests. As testing liability becomes more pronounced with probable ethic and civil rights violations, United Opt Out National (UOO) encourages NEA and AFT to begin to organize national, local and state affiliates to support the cohorts of teachers who refuse to administer state mandated tests inclusive of those that are aligned with Common Core State Standards.
UOO co-founder and member of Aurora Education Association (AEA) Board of Directors Peggy Robertson, a Colorado educator who refuses to participate in test administration, states, “My refusal of the PARCC follows on the footsteps of Alachua County Education Association (ACEA) member Susan Bowles who refused to administer the FAIR test in Gainesville, Florida.”
Bowles, very vocal about the apparent compromised ethical considerations of FAIR testing on early childhood education students, pointed out many factors ignored by Florida lawmakers and education administrators. Following her refusal, the district removed FAIR from the list of tests for early childhood education for the 2014-2015 school year.
Peggy Robertson states, “Those who are able to step forward, and refuse to administer these assessments, should do so immediately. It is my belief that there are many teachers out there who are well aware of the negative impact on their learners and they are ready to refuse to administer these tests. And those who plan to step up would do so more quickly, if they knew they had the back up of their local, state and national unions.”
According to NEA President Lily Eskelson Garcia, “The revolution I want is ‘proceed until apprehended.’” Valerie Strauss from the Washington Post follows Garcia’s quote with this comment, “Translation: Teachers, administrators and everybody else involved should ignore bad school reform policy and do ‘the right thing’ for kids.” Garcia states, “Whether they [reformers] have sinister motives or misguided honest motives, we should say, ‘We are not going to listen to you anymore. We are going to do what’s right.’”
UOO is asking that the unions armed with facts and courage stand up and publicly proclaim their support for teachers nationwide as they refuse to administer assessments which harm children, deprive our students of resources, and ultimately are being used to dismantle the public school system.