February is DOOM, aka Delaware Opt Out Month! How To Opt Your Child Out of Smarter Balanced

I wrote most of this last October when I created DOOM: Delaware Opt Out Month.  This was five months before the Smarter Balanced Assessment will come out, so it was probably too soon.  Now, things are different.  Since I wrote this, the Delaware DOE has tried to trick parents with a threatening letter telling them they are breaking the law if they opt their child out.  In Sunday School, they called this A LIE!!!!

This test starts in 35 days.  Delaware parents, you have 35 days to opt your child out of the Smarter Balanced test.  And it is COMPLETELY LEGAL for you to do so.  There is NO law on the books that says you can’t.  The Delaware Department of Education and your local school district, charter, magnet or vocational school may say you can’t or you are breaking the law.  But guess what?  They have NO legal ground, and they know it.

In the meantime, the Delaware PTA is sponsoring two Parent Opt Out Town Halls in the next 30 days.  While this organization doesn’t have a stand on the issue, mostly based on the fact that their national organization hasn’t supported the opt out movement, they are certainly willing to bring parents together to talk about it.  This makes them my new friend!

I’ve taken the liberty of creating Facebook groups for each school district in Delaware.  This way parents can get together and plan opt-out strategies together.  I suggest going to the school board meeting in your district for the month of February, speak for 20 seconds about who your child or children are, that you want them to opt out, and give an opt out letter to the school board president.

What do you need to do?  Join your district opt out group on Facebook, and SPREAD THE WORD. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your enemies, tell anyone who will listen!  Just talk about it.  If you want to be really radical, tell people at church, put flyers on windshields at your local grocery store, give them to parents at school sporting events, just do SOMETHING!  Because if you do nothing, nothing will happen.  Share this link on Facebook, put it on Twitter, Instagram, Tunblr, wherever you can!  Make opt out Valentine’s Day cards for the parents of your child’s classmates!

To get a quick link to all the Facebook groups for each district, just go to this list:

Appoquinimink: https://www.facebook.com/groups/811176278901676/

Brandywine: https://www.facebook.com/groups/750657841672044/

Caesar Rodney: https://www.facebook.com/groups/330217710494265/

Cape Henlopen: https://www.facebook.com/groups/358626120965599/

Capital: https://www.facebook.com/groups/capitaloptout/

Christina: https://www.facebook.com/groups/739051449503566/

Colonial: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1492448737676855/

Delmar: https://www.facebook.com/groups/659590697473347/

Indian River: https://www.facebook.com/groups/343734129141847/

Lake Forest: https://www.facebook.com/groups/328549060664391/

Laurel: https://www.facebook.com/groups/375501729267620/

Milford: https://www.facebook.com/groups/578841975553978/

New Castle County Vo-Tech: https://www.facebook.com/groups/703996539678113/

Polytech: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1491857177767603/

Red Clay Consolidated: https://www.facebook.com/groups/290247144492167/

Seaford: https://www.facebook.com/groups/557562024345929/

Smyrna: https://www.facebook.com/groups/640600302723389/

Sussex Tech: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1522571074626892/

Woodbridge: https://www.facebook.com/groups/556125087864842/

All Charter Schools in Delaware: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1477351309213561/

If you want to know all the reasons why Common Core is bad for your child, I highly recommend joining this group:

Delaware Against Common Core: https://www.facebook.com/groups/157115501116902/

I will also keep this in my menu guide with links below the title of this blog.

It’s past time parents started taking their children’s education back and helped to get rid of Common Core and standardized testing once and for all.  It will never happen if you do nothing.  It is controversial, and it will piss people off, but if enough of us do it, things will change.  This test and punish agenda has gone on long enough.  The only way to stop this insanity is to speak with our voices loud and clear!

There will be more priority schools in our state.  This will happen every year and they will base this solely on standardized assessment scores.  With Smarter Balanced, the field test scores came in and they were horrible.  The vast majority of students who took it weren’t able to get a proficient score on it.  Is this something you want in your child’s permanent record?  The DOE has already said schools will be low for the next FEW YEARS.  If it takes a FEW YEARS, it isn’t the kids who aren’t proficient, it’s the test.  This is also a test where if you get the wrong answer, you can still get a right answer.  But you can get a right answer but if you don’t explain it the right way, you will have a wrong answer.  Tell me parents, how will that help your child in college or in the real world?  It won’t.  They want to dumb down our kids to push their own agendas.

Parents aren’t the only ones thinking opt out is a good choice, so you are not alone on this if you are already leaning towards it.  It’s a big choice, I understand.  Some may ask if I’ve opted my own son out.  Yes I did.  I did it through a letter to the editor in the Delaware State News, which posted on October 7th, 2014.  But if that isn’t sufficient, I spoke at the October Capital Board meeting, and I will do what I am asking every parent of a student in Delaware to do at a board meeting.  It is actually a relief once you do it, like a great weight has been lifted.  Yes, you will get grief for it, but your kid won’t have to take the test. Whatever your differences, wherever you come from, what you do, who you are- none of that matters.  It’s what’s best for our children.

Please go and join the Facebook page for your district.  I will stay on as admin until things get up and running, and then if you want to be an admin just let me know!  Thank you Delaware parents, and please do the right thing for your child.


Published by

Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

10 thoughts on “February is DOOM, aka Delaware Opt Out Month! How To Opt Your Child Out of Smarter Balanced”

  1. I have a friend (really) who did a general opt out and got the standard letter from district that it is state and federal law and not allowed. I was going to use the template letter on fairtest.org. I imagine I will get this same standard letter. Can you make a recommendation on our next steps? Should we follow in writing or…. advice ?


    1. Was this in Delaware? If so, don’t believe ONE WORD of it. The state code they use is misread and does not apply to parents opting their child out. State employees and teachers, yes, but not parents. They will tell you there is no law written in Delaware or the USA that allows you to opt your child out. However, there is no law that forbids you either, so guess what, just do it!


  2. Yes in Delaware . I think many parents don’t want to put their child in a situation encouraging their child to be defiant in school. Is that the next step? Just have your child refuse? Would you suggest another communication , wording or know anyone who has had to continue to insist ?


    1. This isn’t about your child being defiant. This is about a Constitutional right as a parent to determine the best education for your child. If they say no, let them. They will try to change your mind. Stand your ground and say no. I will be putting up another post for suggestions on what to say in your opt out letter and WHERE to do it.


  3. So, by opting out, your child does not have to take the state test or just the Smarter Balance test…or are they the same thing?

    Does opting out also opt your child out of that online data mining tracking system? I don’t want my children in any part of that.

    Is going to the school board meeting the only way to opt out?


    1. The school board meeting is not the only way, but I have heard from some parents that the principal claims they never got the letter, even when it was handed to them. A board meeting is VERY public, and there is no question for doubt then. That’s why I recommend that option. The Smarter Balanced Assessment is the state approved assessment. There are other tests, like SRI, SMI, MAPS, and all those, but the Smarter Balanced is the big one. If you want to opt your child out of online data mining, I would write a letter to the school district AND the Delaware DOE.


  4. So by opting out…does that mean of all of the state tests? So my child would not have to take any high stakes tests?

    Is there a sample letter for opting out of tests and the tracking system?

    I want to share this on a MOT resident fb group that has thousands of residents, but it will only let me share on my timeline…is there a way I can share this in a group!

    I will have my first born start K in the fall in Appo. This is all new info to me. Where can I find information that will explain this whole thing and what we can do? Thanks!


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