Recently, Senator Sylvia Allen resurrected the Parental Opt Out bill, as SB1455. Arizona families were ecstatic! As the bill headed to the Senate Education Committee on Feb. 18, there were 60 supportive RTS Comments for it, and only 11 against. Multiple emails flooded the members of the Committee. Parents spoke out in favor of the bill during the hearing. It passed 6-1!
And then, we were aghast to learn that our Parental Opt Out Bill (SB1455) had been hijacked by forces behind the scenes. An amendment had been slipped into the bill requiring parents to "opt their children in" to an alternate test. No opting out. The likely suspects included Karol Schmidt, executive director of the State Board of Education, who spoke out against it; or the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, or Arizona School Boards Assn., Mesa Public Schools, Scottsdale School District, or the Arizona Charter School Assn., or former School Superintendent Lisa Graham Keegan, a Governor Ducey appointee who supports Common Core and High Stakes Testing. (She also supported Democrat David Garcia in his race against Republican Diane Douglas for Superintendent of Public Instruction.) .
The problem with the amendment is that school districts or charters may choose an alternate test that isn’t much different than AzMerit that parents are opposed to –so it does absolutely nothing for parental rights!
Action! Please email Sen. Sylvia Allen and politely ask her to remove this onerous amendment and to continue fighting for Parents, who are and must always be, the resident experts of their own children! Sen. Allen is on our side, so please be very polite and gracious to her. Click HERE to reach Sen. Allen by email. Or pick up the phone and speak with her extremely nice staff assistant at 602-926-5409.
Click HERE for the real SB1455! If you send an email to Sen. Allen, send her this Opt Out version of the bill. Any "amendments" should support parent’s rights!
Did you know?
Last June,Oregon passed a law that requires districts to notify parents that they have a right to opt their students out of state exams for any reason at all. See the law.
California law allows parents to exempt their children out of the state’s assessment system.
The testing opt-out movement is growing, despite government efforts to kill it. "Rockville Centre School Superintendent, William Johnson said, ‘No parent in their right mind would allow their kid to take the state test this year.’"
AzMerit, SAGE, and Florida’s FSA test are virtually the same and were all developed by the same behavioral and social science research and evaluation organization AIR. Dr. Gary Thompson, a doctor of clinical psychology, wrote a letter dated Feb. 21, 2016, to the Utah State House of Representatives, warning them about the SAGE test. He wrote: "This Bill will require all public school children in the State of Utah to take the SAGE assessment test, eliminate the option of parents to opt their children out of taking the test, and will mandate the usage of SAGE as a primary determinate for advancement in early elementary school grades, as well as graduation from Utah public high schools. The passage of this Bill will have far-reaching negative academic, psychological, ethical, economic, and legal consequences that will haunt our State for generations. Without a shadow of a doubt, the corporation that the Utah State Office of Education chose as the vendor for the SAGE test (American Institute of Research), has launched the most expansive, massive, unethical experimentation on public school children ever witnessed in the history of Utah. Clinical psychology is replete with tragic, historical examples of the dire consequences associated with experimentation without the informed, written consent of its human participants. To pass a law which takes away the right of parents of protect their psychologically vulnerable children from the adverse, and well documented effects of high stakes, experimental assessment of any nature, is irresponsible, unethical, and dangerous.
I respectfully request that the House not only allow parents to opt out of the SAGE test, but
encourage them to withdraw their children when they witness excessive signs of distress
associated with experimental, high stakes testing.
Using our kids as experimental laboratory rats, without the informed written consent of parents, to achieve “career and college readiness” is unethical by any professional standard, and is a direct affront to our God given and Constitutionally protected right as parents to protect, raise and nurture our children without invasive governmental interventions. Please vote “NO” on HB 164-2. “Parents are, and must always be, the resident experts of their own children.”
It’s Still Opting Out for Me! (a Billy Joel parody). (New York.)
Leader of the Florida House Democrats, Mark Pafford, publicly urged parents to opt their students out of the tests. "I hope that parents take time to understand that their children are being subjected to tests that, in the end, don’t amount to much. The data that comes from those tests sometimes comes so late, it doesn’t matter. You have to question the purpose of these tests…If you’re opting children out of these tests, there’s a reason… Civil disobedience is beginning to rear its head…I applaud those parents who have the courage to do it."