Thanks to comments, I'm going to refine this idea. It will require an organized campaign. The campaign will have to have people in each school working - face-to-face - to recruit folks to opt out of the testing. All students - regardless of program - should opt out of the MAP tests at all grade levels and in all schools. The boycott includes the state tests in grades 3-8 except in Title I schools. The boycott does not include the tests required to graduate high school. It does not extend to Title I schools which could be subject to sanctions under No Child Left Behind. The goals of the effort will be for the District to fulfill their commitments to students and families. The list of specific broken promises from the District will be developed. The boycott will continue until every promise has been resolved.
I have advocated test boycotts to the advanced learning community a few times before.
Seven years ago my threat of a WASL boycott by Spectrum students drove then-superintendent Raj Manhas to make six specific promises to the Spectrum community. The boycott was broken, but so were all of the promises.
About five years ago I proposed opting out of the WASL as a tactic for Spectrum and APP families to evade proposed re-qualification requirements. The District pushed back by threatening to exit any student who didn't test. It got ugly for a little while, but the District blinked first and the re-qualification requirement was dropped.
Two years ago I recommended a WASL boycott to APP families that would end only when the District fulfilled the promises they made when splitting the program. The APP Advisory Committee didn't want to take or endorse any direct action and the result has been that the District hasn't done anything to fulfill their promises to APP students and families.
Now we see the beginning of the end. One Spectrum program, Lawton, has been killed. Another, Wedgwood, is climbing the steps to the guillotine. There are dead programs littering the field already: North Beach and Wing Luke to name just two. APP has been cut in half and it doesn't take the Amazing Kreskin to figure out that the District is going to split it again. There will be two north-end elementary locations.
The time has come for the advanced learning community to step up and take some action to save itself. There is only one action that we can take: boycott the standardized tests. Opt your children out of the MSP and opt them out of the MAP. The kids should not intentionally fail the tests, they just shouldn't take the tests at all.
You are entirely within your rights to preclude the testing of your children. It does your child no harm. It does their teacher no harm. It does their school no harm. The only people who are hurt by it are the District administrators who get hit in their pride. These people live on test scores. It is all they care about. It is their currency.
And we control it.
It is time for us to exercise our power. It is time for us to demand that they fulfill their commitments.
Spectrum families at Lawton and Wedgwood should opt their children out of the MAP and the MSP to protest the changes in their programs to to compel the District to fulfill their commitments to the Lawton and Wedgwood communities.
All other Spectrum families should opt their children out of the MAP and MSP in solidarity with the Lawton and Wedgwood communities and to compel the District to fulfill their commitments to other Spectrum communities.
APP families should opt their children out of the MAP and MSP in solidarity with the Spectrum communities, to save their own program, and to compel the District to fulfill their commitments to the APP community.
ALO families should opt their children out of the MAP and MSP in solidarity with the Spectrum communities and to save their own programs and to compel the District to fulfill their commitments to ALO communities.
All families should opt their children out of the MAP and MSP in solidarity with the Spectrum communities and to compel the District to fulfill their commitments to all communities.
Stop taking the tests. This is your path to recognition and power.