Updated to include official statement
State PTA Board of Managers 26 to 1 Vote in favor of Opt Out and Support House Bill 50.
On March 24th the Delaware Parent Teacher Association voted to support parental rights to opt out of Smarter Balanced Assessment amid criticism of the Smarter Balanced Assessment for the fact that it punishes right answers not arrived the preferred method with no credit but gives credit for wrong answers with the work shown, is not statistically valid, has no growth model, is not designed with appropriate accommodations for handicapped or special needs students and is not timely in producing results.
The DE PTA did not recommend which choice a parent took, but strongly backed the right to choose. Many members plan to support the rally for HB 50 on April 1 around 5:00 pm at Legislative Hall.
Note the author is a regional VP for the Delaware PTA.
Delaware PTA Supports Parent’s right to Opt Out of Smarter Assessments As the largest volunteer parent advocacy association, PTA has always supported choice, a parent’s right, obligation and responsibility to take an active role in their child’s education. We believe that a parent’s right to make decisions about their child’s participation in statewide assessments is part of this choice.
Delaware PTA will not encourage any parent to opt their child out of the test. We firmly believe each decision and subsequent reason for opting out is unique. We also firmly believe that this is a personal decision that must be made by the parental unit. We realize that while there are parents that support the Smarter Assessments and have chosen to allow their child to participate in the assessment, there are also parents that do not support the assessment and do not want their child to participate in the assessment. We do not believe that it is appropriate to support one decision by restricting another.
As a result, on March 24, 2015 the Delaware PTA Board of Managers passed a motion to support a parent’s choice to opt their student out of the Smarter Balanced Assessments.
This passage of this motion allows Delaware PTA to:
Advocate for a legislative process that allows a parent to opt their child from the Smarter Mathematics and Smarter ELA Assessments by supporting HB 50; Work with parents, teachers and district leadership to ensure that any child not participating in the assessment receives alternate academic instruction; Address parent/teacher concerns of fear and/or intimidation regarding the parent opt out Encourage parents to continue to collaborate with their child’s teacher to support academic success We are aware of the state’s plans to convene a task force to assess the amount of testing state wide. We are also aware that some believe this should be our focus, and not the parent’s right to opt out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. While we do agree that we need to reduce the amount of statewide testing, adopting this singular approach to the exclusion of acknowledging a parent’s right to opt out, ignores the fact that parent and teacher concerns with the Smarter Balanced Assessment go far beyond the amount of testing. We believe both issues should be addressed with fidelity and to do anything less is an affront to the many parents that have invested large amounts of time researching the assessment, communicating with teachers and building leadership and making painstaking decisions regarding their child’s participation in the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
We encourage our community partners, school districts and other stakeholders to support a parent’s choice to opt their child from the Smarter Balanced Assessment.