This morning, I sent the following email to my child’s teacher and principal:
[my child] and I had a discussion about the PARCC test (and associated prep), and we have come to the conclusion that she will not be participating in the PARCC. I gave [my child] the choice, as is my right as a parent and protected under the Constitution, but I did not want to force my desires on her choice; I am merely supporting her choice. Of course, if she should decide to take the PARCC, that is her choice, but I will not suffer being bullied into that choice; I say that more to ISBE and the federal government, NOT to anyone in Unit 4, because I do not believe Unit 4 will bully my child in any way.
Please note, this is nothing against [my child’s teacher], [my child’s principal], [my child’s school], or Unit 4; I personally think the implementation of the test, particularly the interface, totally sucks. [my child’s teacher] already has superior methods of assessing my child, and the PARCC does not add any value to my child’s education.
Also note that I will be informing other parents they have a right to make this choice as well. [my child] was worried that there would be negative repercussions to not taking the test, and I have convinced her that there will be none.
[my child] and I also talked about what she could do while “not taking the test”, and I reminded her that she will have a chromebook (or at least a netbook) and can work quietly on normal school work, like Scratch, eToys, code.org, etc.
You know me, I am always up for further discussion if you want to talk more. *grin* Having said that, I do not hold any obligation over you (plural, including the entire school and the school district) to respond – no response necessary. But certainly welcome. *grin*
I followed up with a link to a document I used as legal reference:
Since sending that email and forwarding it to various individuals (PTA, friends, etc), I have had some interesting feedback. Some are concerned about whether this will hurt the school or the school district. It is my understanding, as the document above mentions, that school districts have a mandate to offer the test, but there is no mandate that a child must take the test. Splitting hairs? Maybe. But a quick google search will show you plenty of folks up in arms about PARCC. Others have chimed in with their own apprehensions.
Finally, I also have submitted a over-simplified question to the school district administration and board of education – still waiting for an answer:
“Do parents have the right to opt their child out of PARCC testing?”
Obviously, I believe the answer is “yes”. However I would like the district to have a formal response in black and white.