The following is a motivational piece written by co-founder and UOO admin Ceresta Smith from Florida. We call it the “Get Tough Guide” because parents will undoubtedly experience some pushback when refusing testing for their child. We have embedded the document below, or you can view a simple text version beneath.
During the process of opting your child out of testing, you will probably meet with the following comments by administrators and district officials.
It is important that you ask that any of the following statements be put in writing on stationery with the school or the district’s letterhead.
I have listed the comments with the responses you may need to use to complete the process of opting your child out of standardized testing:
Your child has to stay home during the testing window.
I am a taxpayer, and you do not have the authority to bar my child from accessing this public good of which I contribute in the form of tax payment. I will call the police if you attempt to bar my child from entering the building.
Your child has to report to the test site.
Having my child report to the test site only to sit and stare into space for hours at a time is tantamount to solitary confinement. If you attempt to force my child to do so, I will report you to the child abuse authorities. If anyone places their hands on my child after he/she has respectfully declined to report to a test site, he/she has been instructed to call the police and file charges.
Your child will not graduate w/o the test.
As the parent, I have legal rights to the final say when it comes to my child’s education. My preference is the use of the PLAN or ACT test to prove my child’s proficiency in math and reading, as they are voluntary and allow me to receive a copy of my child’s actual test for review.
Your child will be retained.
The goal here is to demonstrate proficiency, and as a parent I have the legal right to request the use of a portfolio or alternative assessment to demonstrate my child’s ability. Upon review, together we will decide if that is necessary.
Your child will be placed in remedial classes.
The goal here is to demonstrate proficiency, and as a parent I have the legal right to request the use of a portfolio or alternative assessment to demonstrate, my child’s ability. I will be the one to decide along with your expertise if remediation is necessary.
We can not supply alternative activities for your child during testing.
It is my child’s right as a public school student to receive instruction daily, and if you do not do so, I will file a discrimination report with the district and consult an attorney.
You will cause the school to be deemed failing, and it will be under sanction or closed down.
To date no school has been closed for parents opting their children out of testing; they have been closed for parents opting their children in.
By Ceresta Smith, UOO Admin
Disclaimer: All documents on this website are for informational purposes only and do not substitute as legal advice or legal counsel. The information contained in this document and this website may or may not reflect the most current developments in education policy within our nation or within each state. Information shared here is not guaranteed to be correct or complete and UOO disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all contents of this website.