Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Here Comes the Opt-Out Bus

Opt Out Bus Spring Tour 
(Starting at Garfield HS, Thursday March 31st, 2:20 pm)
As the spring high-stakes, common core tests begin, the Opt Out Bus will be touring Seattle schools to provide families with information on their rights to opt out of standardized testing.  
• Anastasia Samuelsen, Garfield High School parent, Seattle Opt Out, anastasia606@gmail.com206-552-5556
• Rita Green, Seattle/King County NAACP Chair of Education, education@seattlekingcountynaacp.org206-605-8339
• Seattle Opt out:
• Opt Out Bus:
 What: The first Stop on the Opt Out Bus tour will be at Garfield High School, on Thursday March 31st.  The opt out bus will come to rally the Garfield community, raise awareness, and hand out information about the right to opt out of standardized testing.  There will be lots of signs, and photo friendly opportunities.  Participants will write messages about their opinion of high-stakes standardized testing on the side of the Opt Out Bus.  
When: Thursday March 31st, 2:20 pm (at the end of the school day).
Where: The first stop of the Opt Out Bus will be at Garfield High School: 400 23rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Who:The Opt Out Bus tour is sponsored by:
• NAACP, Seattle/King County Chapter 
• Parents Across America (PAA), Seattle Chapter 
• The Opt Out Bus
• Social Equality Educators (SEE) 
Why: The average American public school student now takes 112 standardized tests in their K-12 career. Standardized tests are robbing our kids of valuable instructional time. The high-stakes attached to those tests are being used to punish, instead of nurture, our students.

In 2013, teachers at Garfield refused to administer the MAP test and ignited a movement around the country. Last year, some 60,000 students opted out of standardized testing in Washington State. Over 90% of all juniors at Garfield opted out of the common core SBAC test, and 100% of juniors at Nathan Hale did the same. A growing number of schools around Seattle are experiencing unprecedented numbers of parents opting their students out of standardized testing, especially the new common core SBAC exams.

Parent Carolyn Leith said, “I’m opting my daughters out of SBAC testing because these test are robbing our children of valuable class time. My children are developing many skills--such as collaboration, creativity, and problem solving--that can’t be measured by this test.”
The Seattle Opt Out organization is partnering with other education and community groups to sponsor the Opt Out Bus Tour—which will feature small rallies and information sharing at schools around Seattle.

Parent optout leader Anastaisa Samuelsen said, “Our newly formed Seattle Opt Out group is raising parent's awareness of the impact of standardized testing around the District. We have helped organized regional forums around Seattle where many parents have shared heartbreaking stories about the undue stress testing brings, and the dislike of school their children are developing. We are very concerned about this.”


Anonymous said...

Hi, your picture link appears to be broken at least in my browser. I am thinking about opting my kids out by the way. One thing I've noticed is SPS doubling down on calling it a parent refusal. I guess that is meant to be subtle pressure?


Melissa Westbrook said...

Savvy, I think that comes from OPSI and yes, is a subtle "it's on your" tactic. As if you didn't know this on your own.

Anonymous said...

Parents have to opt their child out until the student is 18 years of age, then they can pen their own opt out letters. We (Seattle Opt Out Group) actually think the term 'parent refusal' is just fine, since parents are the ones having their choices challenged and the gesture of refusing is becoming, in many ways, an act of civil disobedience. Too bad the whole situation isn't one where parents would need to opt their children in!

AS/Seattle Opt Out