Sunday, June 24, 2012

Opting Out in Suburbia

My oldest son is headed to a public school next year in a suburb which has felt very minimal consequences from high stakes testing.  He previously attended a Waldorf school where high stakes testing simply doesn't exist. I am now joining the ranks of opt-outers and have begun my journey by putting it all on the table before we even start the school year.  Not only will it be interesting to see my son's transition into public school, it will also be interesting to share my own feelings about opting out now that I am also required to take action as a parent.  Here we go folks. My first letter. I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Hi Mr. ------------,

I thought it would be easier to email you since it said on the website that you respond more quickly to email :)  My name is Peggy Robertson and my son, Sam, is planning to attend -------- next fall - he will be in 8th grade. He has been enrolled at the Denver Waldorf School since the age of four, so this will be quite a transition for him!  I was hoping to visit -------- next week before you close for the summer and would love for Sam to get a peek in the school to get a feel for it.  Do you have any availability next week on Thursday morning?

I also thought I should give you a little background about me - I am a former public school teacher and I am one of the founders of United Opt Out National, the movement to end corporate education reform. If there is anything I can do to support you at --------- please let me know.  I will be opting Sam out of state testing (TCAP and MAPS) as well as any pretest booklets to prepare for these tests.  I wanted to let you know upfront so that it didn't come as a shock once Sam is enrolled. I know that Littleton is having minimal consequences from high stakes testing compared to the rest of the country, but I believe, as many parents and educators do, that if we halt high stakes testing (tied to teacher evaluation, school closings, holding students back a grade due to one standardized test score) we could begin to preserve and improve public schools and end the privatization that is occurring right now. 

Thanks Mr. ------- and I look forward to meeting you! Sam is so excited to attend --------.  Let me know what you think about next week and have a great morning.

Peggy Robertson

Administrator for United Opt Out National

1 comment:

  1. Excellent, Peggy.

    Let's also throw in a timely reminder; as those state test scores start trickling in, it would matter most if those suburbia, or any "high performing" school, would dismiss the scores and rankings.

    We must all refuse to play the game. Then there is no game.