As Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson put out a news release
announcing the start of SBAC testing today, many parents may be reaching out to teachers with questions about these tests and asking if they can opt out of the testing for their child.
The short answer is, “Yes!” California is one of a handful of states that legally allow parents to opt out of state-mandated standardized testing. California also has regulations governing what educators can say to parents and families. As CTA and local chapters are organizing around the importance of learning over testing, CTA has put together resources to help educators have these conversations.
CTA has also developed a parent flyer
, You Can Opt Out: Know Your Rights
, and sample opt-out letter
for parents. CTA members can distribute this flyer to parents to inform them of their rights around testing and opting out. As testing is an important issue to parents of English learners, this flyer will soon be available in multiple languages.
We all know that one test score does not define a student’s achievement and that these tests rarely take cultural differences into account when they are crafted. We also know that it’s time to put teachers back in charge of testing. This is a real opportunity for local chapters to build off of CTA’s strategic plan
in leading the profession and engaging all communities to demand learning take precedence over testing.
Here are a few things local association leaders can do to support learning over testing.
- Take an idea from the San Diego Education Association and have your local school board pass a resolution.
- Share the NEA Petition to end high-stakes testing on your chapter website and social media. Share the petition with parents and community groups.
- Consider making learning over testing part of your plans for the National Day of Action to reclaim our schools on May 4, 2016. You can use any of these materials.
- Organize with parents and community members to ensure your Local Control Accountability Plan focuses on learning, not testing.
- For more resources around testing and the Opt-Out movement, visit www.cta.org/optout.