To the editor,
Today many of the parents who have been fighting the Common Core aspects and the planned “sit and stare” policy that many of the regions/districts throughout the state were planning on implementing have a reason to celebrate. Per this article (jonathanpelto.com/2015/03/17/victory-in-ct-parents-can-opt-students-out-of-sbac-tests-students-will-be-provided-alternative-location) the State of Connecticut appears to have changed their position (including Region 16) and has now stated that they are now going to have alternate activities planned.
This is very important since many parents do not know that it is against SBAC testing policies to have people (students or adults), who are not actively involved with the testing taking place at that time, to be in the same room while the testing is occurring (ct.portal.airast.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CT_Test-Administration-Manual_FINAL_030915.pdf ) page TAM11 where it states “Access to assessments-Only students who are testing can view items. Students who are not being tested or unauthorized staff or other adults must not be in the room where a test is being administered. Trained teachers and test administrators may have limited exposure to items in the course of properly administering the assessments; however, DAs, DCs, SCs, TEs and TAs and other trained staff may not actively review or analyze any items.”
Those who do not want to have their children partake in the Common Core testing just need to send in a refusal letter (not an opt out — wording important) stating such. The canned letters that parents are receiving from their school systems stating it is law that their children take is not binding per a Connecticut Department of Education 2014 letter (www.scribd.com/doc/197579137/Connecticut-Department-of-Education-Opt-Out-State-Testing-Requests-2014) and there are 14 SCOTUS rulings stating that the parents’ rights supersede the state’s wishes (www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000000/00000075.asp).