Opt-Out Resolution Passed by the New Salem/Wendell School Committee

The New Salem/Wendell School Committee unanimously passed the following resolution on March 10, strongly encouraging parents to opt their children out of the PARCC tests this spring.

To support our community’s teacher and parent responses to PARCC testing, the Swift River School Committee declares the following:

The Swift River School staff has demonstrated outstanding effort and care when responding to concerns about the current condition of standardized tests. Because of their efforts, and as the administrators of these tests, staff members are familiar with the problems presented by the PARCC test, such as: the expenditure of time, the stress placed on children, and the questionable efficacy of this test as an assessment tool.

By law, families have the right to opt their children out of the PARCC test. Therefore, Swift River School resolves the following:

  • We encourage parents to opt their children out of this test until the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education can reappraise it as an assessment tool.
  • We declare that parents who choose to opt their children out of the PARCC test will not be subject to any negative consequences from the Swift River School administration or the Swift River School Committee.

Additionally, Swift River School teachers and staff members who choose to discuss this issue with students and parents, whether in class, in parent-teacher conferences, in community meetings, or in other social and professional settings shall not be subject to any negative consequences from the Swift River School administration or the Swift River School Committee. In fact, the Swift River School Committee encourages teachers and staff members to inform parents about the state requirements for choosing to opt out of standardized testing whenever possible.

We are pleased to reaffirm that free speech is a fundamental right of all the members our educational community. In regard to state-mandated standardized testing, the Swift River School Committee stands with our community’s educators in their efforts to protect our students from the unnecessary stress and the curtailment of teaching resultant from excessive standardized testing.

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