Dear fellow parents of Smyth Road School,
This correspondence is given with full appreciation for the devotion, time and talent our educators provide for our children. I implore you, please take the time to read this crucial letter regarding your child(ren)’s education. This letter has been forwarded to administrators, school board members, including the Mayor, teachers and you the parents. I believe in full transparency.
This letter encompasses three important messages regarding your child(ren)’s education. It is a collaboration of many concerned parents. The following information is imperative and relevant to the assessments during this month.
•First, I have inserted this petition regarding a moratorium on all testing. A petition that has been started by a NH teacher.
•Second, you have a right to REFUSE the upcoming Smarter Balanced testing. Mail the following sample letter to your child’s teacher, principal, and Superintendent. Publisher’s notes: 1) Click here to download the below letter in Word format. 2) Minor edits have been made to the letter for reasons of formatting.
Dear Principal _______________:
We are writing today to formally inform you and the ______________ School District of our decision to REFUSE to allow our child(ren), __________________, to participate in any standardized assessments imposed on children across the state for the 201___-201___ school year.
Our refusal should, in no way reflect on the teachers, administration or school board. These test are abusing our children mentally and indoctrinating our children to be anti-American and anti-parents. Common Core is harming our children mentally by lowering their sense of self and by breaking our children’s spirit.
Our child(ren) will not participate in any assessments other than those solely used for the individual classroom teachers (diagnostic) and those that will be used to calculate report card grades.
We REFUSE to allow any data to be collected in any way from our child(ren), ____________________, without our permission. Any assessment, besides final exams, whose data is used to determine school ranking, teacher effectiveness, state or federal longitudinal studies or any other purpose other than for the individual classroom teacher’s own use to improve his or her instruction, may not be presented to our child.
Therefore, our child(ren), ________________ will not participate in the following:
- Any questionnaires given by the school or any others while in school. All questionnaires need to be approved by me, the parent.
- Any State Assessment
- Any benchmark exams / pre–assessments connected to “Student Learning Objectives”
- Any surveys, or “field tests” given by corporate or government entities or testing companies
- Any exam used to formulate an evaluation or score for ______________’s teachers or school, other than the final exams for each subject area.
We believe in and trust our highly qualified and dedicated teachers and administrators. We believe in the high quality of teaching and learning that occurs at _________________________.
We hope our efforts will be understood within the context in which they are intended: To support the quality of instruction promoted by __________________ and to advocate for what is best for all children, approved by us, the parents.
We anticipate that our child(ren), _______________, will be treated fairly during assessment periods, as this was not his decision, but ours, as his/her parents.
Since the benchmark assessments will be taking place early in the school year, please inform us as to the plan for ________________ during the time when the assessments will take place.
We do apologize in advance for the inconvenience to the administration, the faculty and staff.
•Third, if the school administrators are resisting your request and you are having trouble with your directive to REFUSE the Common Core Assessments please contact the following attorneys in Manchester, NH.
Skinner, Rivard & Siekmann …
587 Union St.
Smarter Balanced Assessments are part of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. This Initiative was created for and is driven by the federal government.
This is not a partisan opposition. Please pay attention to this transformation. There is troubling news regarding the rigorousness of these standards. Psychologist are deeply concerned because children are not developmentally ready for the material. “The US Department of Education has stated that they want to collect over 400 data points on students. They also paid for and have significant influence over the tests and materials. The Smarter Balanced Consortium signed an agreement with the Federal Govt. that they will provide information gathered on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.”
In addition, there is great concern regarding the collection of personal information, including but not limited to our children’s psychological attributes without written consent from us, the parents. Please, be discerning when you recieve information and please research for accurate information. Education is leaving the hands of our outstanding educators. Teachers throughout the country are being intimida ted for their opposition. A few can no longer tolerate it, and regardless of any repercussions they are courageously speaking out.
Please, if you have any questions feel free to contact me via email. I will do my best to direct you to the appropriate person and/or organization.
I have no gain in writing to you. I am deeply concerned, and I am willing to tolerate the consequences to make you aware.
Sincerely & With You,
Stephanie Burnes, mother of seven, parenting for 27 years, and a parent of a Smyth Rd. first grader
If you have found this communication useful please forward immediately to Manchester school parents and teachers throughout the city