SAMPLE Opt-Out Letter from Somerville

A group of parents sent this collective letter opting their children out of high-stakes MCAS testing! Share around so parents and students can make the best possible choices for themselves around participating in MCAS.

Dear Principal _____________,

We are writing to let you know that our children will not take part in any of the sessions of MCAS the 2017/18 school year: Here we listed the names and grades of the 6 students who are opting out.

We ask that you make arrangements for these children to have a productive educational experience during the testing period(s). We do not want our children to be logged into the test by themselves or anyone else, nor sat in front of a computer on which the test will be given. We request that they be marked as Not Tested for each and every MCAS test this school year. As per the state’s suggestion, we encourage the test administrator to document the refusals and keep them on record at ESCS in case questions arise about the school’s participation rate.   → Read More

Thank you for coming to CPS’s Annual Meeting 2018!

We had a full room, and a packed schedule on Thursday for Citizens for Public Schools’ 2018 Annual Meeting! 

Some highlights: 

Executive Director, Lisa Guisbond gives opening remarks, stating “CPS has been a voice for public education [in Massachusetts] for over 35 years.”

Julie Johnson (Executive Board Member) leads voting process to elect Carol Savage and Tito Jackson as CPS’s new Board members

Norma Shapiro (Executive Board Member) gives a moving dedication of the Annual Meeting to Kathleen Kelley, former President of the Boston Teacher’s Union and American Federation of Teachers- MA, as well as former CPS Advisory Board Member

Daniel Koretz, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Education at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, gives the keynote with some memorable quotes: 

  • “The bad news– absolutely pervasive bad test prep… much of it is just gaming, and it’s particularly pervasive in low-income schools.”
  • “I want to see things like engagement, kids motivated and enjoying learning.”
  • “We need to set reachable targets.
   → Read More

BIG WIN! Somerville School Committee passes resolution supporting senate bills mandating 20 mins of recess

On January 8, 2018, the Somerville School Committee passed “Resolution to Support Senate Bill 308 and House Bill 235: Acts to Mandate Recess for Elementary School Children.” 

 

See the full text of the resolution here: http://www.somerville.k12.ma.us/sites/default/files/Approved%20Recess%20Resolution%20SPS%20010818.pdf

It is powerful for local school committees to pass resolutions support state senate and house bills to demonstrate support from the local level. If you have questions about how to strategize around doing this in your district, email us at lesstestingmorelearning@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

    → Read More

Register Now for CPS Annual Meeting with Daniel Koretz

Join us for CPS’s annual meeting on Thursday, March 22 at the Church on the Hill, 140 Bowdoin Street, Boston, 5:30 pm refreshments, 6-8:30 pm program.

Our guest speaker is Daniel Koretz, author of The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better

Click HERE to register now.

All are welcome. Capacity is limited, so register now. 

  • Hear our guest speaker
  • Learn about our advocacy campaigns
  • Elect officers and board

CPS non-members are welcome – Suggested donation of $15 (can be applied to membership). Click HERE to join, renew your membership, or donate.     → Read More

NEW Less Testing, More Learning Blog + Letter for Parents with students on IEP’s!

Visit our Less Testing, More Learning Blog!

We are collecting stories from parents, teachers, students, and other education professionals to document the damage done by overuse and misuse of MCAS and other standardized tests to:

  1. create a more public dialogue about these harms
  2. use as evidence with school committees, and other decision-makers

Please share, and if you have a story, please send them to lesstestingmorelearning@gmail.com!

See our FAQ if you have questions or visit lesstestingmorelearning.tumblr.com   → Read More