KUOW.ORG post that WEA has voted to support families in opting out of state mandated assessments including next year's common core tests from Smarter Balanced. We have been seeing a growing trend across the country especially in New York, but other than in Seattle last year I haven't read or seen an organized opt out campaign. Since it was a motion voted on by members I assume it took place at their annual conference. Could this be the start of of a statewide movement? If local units follow the recommendations in the motion it very well could be.
1. Support the rights of parents/guardians to collaborate with teachers to determine appropriate options for assessment of student proficiency if opting out of statewide standardized assessments.
2. Encourage its local affiliates to work alongside student and parent leadership groups in promoting opt-out for Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests whenever possible.
3. Inform members of current student and parent organizations’ opt-out efforts through existing communication vehicles. The link to the OSPI form for parents to opt-out of state tests shall be made available to members via email.
Given the current reality of mandated testing and how those that opt out influence district and school data, I find myself more aligned with the position that OSPI has already taken following this WEA decision.
At the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, spokesman Nathan Olson objected to the motion. "We think that all students should take the test," Olson said. "The feds mandate them for a reason."
Under the federal law known as No Child Left Behind, students who refuse a test earn a zero – and the federal government can penalize schools that underachieve on standardized tests.
"To refuse to take the test, I think it only hurts the school, the district, and ultimately the state," Olson said.
So, I'm wondering how those representing TEA voted and their plans for the future? I'm also wondering influence this vote may have over time on assessment in our state.