As the Smarter Balanced Assessment kicked off yesterday for many Delaware schools, the drums of parent opt out are beating louder and louder. This blog is looking for eyes in the schools and ears on the ground! This non-paying, volunteer position is looking for folks who hear about parents opting out. Whether it is their child’s school board taking a stand for or against parent opt out, or a principal denying an opt out letter (which they can do but you are under no obligation to honor their denial), kids walking out of schools, a child being forced to take the test even after they have been opted out, or even just general testing anxiety. I especially want to hear from parents where their child has started the test, but the parents want to opt them out after. Because you can do that as well!
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook, under Kevin Ohlandt. Please send a message on Facebook. Or there are opt out groups for every single school district in the state, and a page for all charter schools. If anyone wants to become an admin on any of the Facebook opt out pages, please let me know that as well.
The opt out movement has come a LONG way in Delaware. A year ago, if you mentioned those words, you would be told “Opting out is not an option.” Now we have school honoring the requests, school boards passing resolutions to not penalize the students, and even the Delaware Department of Education has come to understand it is not going away and has said the state can not do anything legal to parents who opt their child out. But don’t believe for one second they aren’t having closed conversations with the schools in our state about it. It’s not something they want, but they are powerless to stop it.