It’s official. We are now Wisconsin opt outers!
Michelle and I are requesting that Lacey not participate in state standardized testing during the current school year. Furthermore, we ask that no record of this testing be part of Lacey’s permanent file, as we do not wish for Lacey to participate in standardized achievement testing for student, teacher and school evaluations, or school/state report cards.
Forced, high stakes testing:
•Is not scientifically-based and fails to follow the U.S. Government’s own data on learning
•Fosters test driven education that is not meeting the individual/intellectual needs of students
•Presents a racial and economic bias that is beneficial to white middle/upper class students and detrimental to second language students, impoverished students, and students of color
•Violates the United States Constitution’s ESEA Fiscal Fairness Act
•Supports complicity of corporate interests rather than democracy based on public concerns
•Fosters coercion over cooperation with regards to federal funding for public education
•Has used the achievement gap to foster a “de facto” segregation that has resulted in separate and unequal education for minorities
We understand that federal law provides the parent or guardian the right of choice regarding standardized testing when such testing violates spiritual beliefs. In contrast to our spiritual beliefs, which are firmly rooted in a moral code that embraces equity and fairness, we believe such testing is not in the best interests of Lacey since it fosters competition instead of cooperation, contributes to separate and unequal education for minorities, and belies Lacey’s intellectual, creative, and problem-solving abilities, while presenting a fictitious picture as to the impact of the pedagogy provided by Lacey’s teachers.
Ultimately, our state is required to provide Lacey with an education in a least restrictive environment that does not force us to go against our spiritual beliefs. Lacey should proceed to learn and develop at an individual pace following education standards that are imparted under the guidance of education professionals, not market-based reformers, who are able to provide quality pedagogy without fear of reprisal if students – who mature at vastly different levels and come from diverse backgrounds that may or may not be supportive of intellectual pursuit – do not hit the bulls’ eye of a constantly moving achievement target.
Therefore, we request that the school provide appropriate learning activities during the testing window and utilize alternative authentic assessments as Lacey opts out of standardized testing.
Tim and Michelle Slekar
Someone had to OPT OUT!