Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sample Letter To School Districts That Force Students to Take Tests Against their Parents Wishes

Dear ................
I am writing to urge you to reconsider your efforts to force ........... to take state tests against the will of his parents. I am doing so as part of an informal committee of scholars, journalists, and civil rights lawyers monitoring how school districts around the nation handle children and families who are refusing tests they consider invasive and developmentally inappropriate. We regard
resistance to testing as one of the great civil rights causes of our time, as we believe testing in our educational system has reached dangerous proportions and is doing especial harm to ELL students and special needs who are forced to take tests which they experience as humiliating and demoralizing.
Given that perspective, which is shared by a growing number of educators, education scholars, and psychologists, I urge you as a matter of conscience and sound education practice, to abide by the wishes of ............parents and refrain from requiring him to take tests which they choose to exempt him from. Hundreds of thousands of parents around the country have taken this step, more than 220,000 in my home state of New York. School districts which have chosen to force children to take tests over the protests of their parents are likely to face much negative publicity and lawsuits.. While this possibility may seem remote in your own school district in South West Texas, I can assure you that the test resistance movement is national and reaches into every portion of the nation. It is truly a cause whose time as come as it has the best interests of children and teachers at heart
I realize that I have no institutional standing to address you this way, but I do so from a strong moral foundation. I am among many
who care deeply about education policy, and about justice who believe that children and families should be free from intimidation and deprival of school recources to which they are entitled when facing the very serious decision whether to participate in state tests
Mark D Naison
Professor of African American Studies and History
Fordham University