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.

Our decision to opt our children out of MCAS testing is not a reflection of the school or of the wonderful teachers who work so hard to give our children a first rate education. It is because of these amazing teachers and administrators that we opt out. We do not want their hands tied by the demands of a test that does not accurately show what our children know, nor allow for the creative questioning that is the basis for a well-rounded education. It is not fair to the students, teachers, or administrators. We hope this small protest can be the start of wider recognition of the problems with high stakes testing and a move towards addressing its inherent problems.

The decision to opt our children out of MCAS this year is ours alone. Should you have concerns or questions, please address them to the parents signing this letter, not to our children. As per the state’s instructions, we do not want our children to be pressured into taking the test nor punished for not taking it.

We continue to be grateful to be a part of the East Somerville Community School community.


It is signed by the 12 parents


All teachers and superintendent were cc’d