Sunday, February 22, 2015

My #PARCC refusal letter

Readers, feel free to modify this letter to suit your needs.

February 23, 2015

Dear ------------------,

We are writing to inform you that, as per our parental rights under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, we are refusing to allow our daughter, -------------, to sit for the PARCC PBA and EOY.

Research has shown, and Bari Erlichson, Chief Performance Officer/Assistant Commissioner of Data, Research, Evaluation and Reporting at the NJ Department of Education has publicly stated, that the PARCC is not a diagnostic test as has been claimed. It will do nothing to assist our daughter’s current teachers in her educational progress, but may in fact unfairly harm their careers instead because student test scores are tied to their evaluations. As we’re sure you know, when the tests were administered in New York last year, scores plummeted because the test has been shown to be deeply flawed and in many cases, developmentally inappropriate. This is not fair to our daughter or her excellent teachers whom we trust more than any standardized test to best prepare her for her future educational goals. This test does not set a ‘rigorous’ bar for our daughter, who is already a straight-A student. This test is not an indicator of her college and career readiness. As you also know, a student’s high school GPA is the best indicator of their college success.

We are also opposed to the unwarranted collection of our daughter’s academic data and its sharing with for-profit and other unnamed entities without our permission. This is not an educational best practice. This is data mining to aid for-profit education companies to sell their wares.

As per the PARCC testing guidelines, we expect that she will not ‘sit and stare’ because the guidelines specifically state that:

“Visitors, including parents/guardians, school board members, researchers, reporters, non-testing students, and school staff not authorized to serve as Test Administrators or Proctors, are prohibited from entering the testing environment.” (Pearson Avocet PARCC Testing Manual) (emphasis added)

We expect that, at best, she will be given an opportunity to work on meaningful school work, preferably in art where she excels. At worst, we expect she will be allowed to read in a non-testing room.

We also expect that there will be no punitive repercussions for her refusal to take the PARCC. We expect the test to be coded as ‘refused’. We expect her refusal will not be recorded as an act of insubordination or disobedience, or have any other negative effect on her school status including her rank or placement in future classes.

We look forward to hearing from you regarding your plans for ----------- on testing days.

Thank you.



cc: ------------, Principal
-----------------, County Superintendent