“The Role and Toll of Testing in Schools” starts at 6 PM at the Unity of Richmond Church.
Parents frustrated with the standardized testing required by Richmond Public Schools and the Commonwealth are often unaware that they can request their child not take the test, opt out. The opt out movement is gaining support and lead by schools such as Garfield High School in Seattle WA, where the teachers voted overwhelmingly to not administer a standardized test to their students. (Full Story)
RVA Opt Out is an organization that is working to educate Richmond on their options and eventually end the standardization of education.
Tonight, Monday, May 12th at 6:00 PM at the Unity of Richmond Church (800 Blanton Ave.) there will be a community forum, “The Role and Toll of Testing in Schools”
Let’s discuss the current testing environment in our schools, educational policy, parental rights, and protecting our students and schools from undue pressure, standardization, and punishment.
The RVA Opt Out website discusses their two pronged approach.
APPROACH 1 – PARENTAL RIGHTS
It is extraordinarily important that parents understand that they DO in fact, have rights pertaining to whether or not their child will take the Virginia Standards of Learning assessments. By exercising their rights, parents have the potential to make huge changes to the educational system. As the momentum of this movement builds and more people participate in making the choice to say no to standardization, schools will be forced reevaluate the teaching to the test mentality. Parents with children in elementary or middle school have differing choices than those with students who are taking classes for high school credits. RVA Opt Out will even provide the forms you need to easily express your decision to opt your child out of the SOLs.
APPROACH 2 – PROTECTING OUR SCHOOLS
Unfortunately, the ways in which schools are currently measured, involves the scoring of the Standards of Learning. When parents choose to keep their children from testing, the schools currently have no way to distinguish a child who has opted out from one that has failed or received a zero. RVA Opt Out will also petition the state to allow for schools to demonstrate the number of students who have “opted out” from the SOLs. This would allow the state to see for themselves that parents want change and allow the schools to protect themselves from false analysis of their test scores.