Opt Out of the State Test FB/Unitedoptout webpage mission statement
Who we are:
Members of this site are parents, educators, students and social activists who are dedicated to the elimination of high stakes testing in public education. We use this site to collaborate, exchange ideas, support one another, share information and initiate collective local and national actions to end the reign of fear and terror promoted by the high stakes testing agenda.
We believe that high stakes testing is destructive to ALL children, educators, communities, the quality of instruction in classrooms, equity in schooling, and the democratic principles which underlie the purposes of public education. We believe that a quality public education is a basic human right for all children, one which must remain in the hands of our communities and out of the hands of big business, corporate reformers and politicians. If we are to save, and transform, public education into spaces where ALL children have an opportunity to flourish, grow, question, challenge, think and be prepared as democratic citizens, we must begin with the fight to end the high stakes testing movement.
What we do:
We have two basic platforms: Our website is designed for people to access documents, templates, forms, and other vital state and federal information, and our Facebook which is dedicated to providing ongoing avenues for grass roots collective actions. Here you will find opportunities not only to share and learn but to ACT. We invite anyone to propose actions for the group to take in addition to the ones organized by the FB administrators.
There are three basic arenas for our approach to action. We invite members to join in initiatives, utilize our wide array of resources, letter templates and tools as needed, and to offer their own ideas for initiating local, regional, or national action.
Three basic arenas for initiating action
Changing the public narrative: Dismantling 3 key myths—
a. that HST is NECESSARY,
b. that HST equalizes schools, and
c. that HST is necessary to assess student progress.
Possible actions in this arena:
writing op ed pieces by parents
sharing the parent flyer (to be made available soon on the website) that challenges these key myths (share at local/regional meetings developed by our Facebook members),
creating collective public actions that are political, arts-based, or social ( such as storytelling circles, Dolls in Boxes project link on FB)
flashmobs (real and virtual)
postcards with images
Breaking the cycle: How to end HST state by state.
Possible actions in this arena
writing mass letters to Office of Civil Rights (form letter to be made available on website),
forming school-level or district level petitions
carrying the Opt Out stick parent to parent
forming Opt Out parent support networks and/or meetings (FB members from each state could initiate this)
posting advertisements in regional papers outlining HOW parents can opt out. Opt Out letters for each state will be available on the website.
Possible legal actions???
Sharing research from schools and states that have used alternative assessment measures that actual ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT student success and classroom effectiveness. Start local newsletters that share this information. Identify teachers and researchers who can help.