Monday, May 2, 2011

You cannot be forced to take the racist tests

Thank you to Rich Gibson for the following information.  Visit his Home Page here. 

California and Michigan Law make it clear that you do not have to take the SAT 9 (California) or the MEAP (Michigan). You have a right under law not to take the test. If they choose, parents can send a letter opting kids out of the test, or you can just stay home. Teachers are not supposed to solicit non-cooperation with the tests. However, they CAN tell you about interesting www sites like this one. Here are three links about the tests. (Fairtest, MEAP boycott flyer, and Nick Lemann on the Big Test)
In other states, like New York, the law is more restrictive. However, you can simply say, "My religion, says that I must do what is right, and the test is not right." 

Or you can say, "Hundreds of parents and students are going to boycott this ridiculuous test that only measures parental income and race. So do not bother us. If you do, you will only demonstrate that you do not understand how power works."

Or you can say, "We would like to receive, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, all of your travel and expense reports for the last year. We would like the same reports for your secretary."
Or you can say, "This is my child and I will determine what is right for my child and what is not."
Or you can say, "Students in wealthy neighborhoods do not have to take such tests.  I don't want my child to take it either." 

There is no reason for you to allow the standardistos to abuse your child, or to abuse you. Boycott the exams. Heap ridicule on the child abusers. California and Michigan parents and students have a legal right to opt out of the tests based on state law.  Teachers and  administrators are being directed not to inform you of your rights.  Parents and students in other states, for the most part, have the same rights written in state law.  However, if the authorities refuse to advise you of your rights under state code, you always have the right to refuse to participate in these exams based on your religion, or based on the fact that the exams systematically discriminate against people based on race and social class.  No school or state official has a right to retaliate against you for exercising your rights under the law.  It is illegal for any state official to abuse their authority to deny you your rights.

Boycott the MEAP! Articles by Rich Gibson on Education and Testing
California Law Allows Opting out of Tests Others' Writing about Education and Testing
Nick Lemann on the Big Test
Oppose High Stakes Standardized Tests!
(resolution passed by CUFA of NCSS)

Opt out of MEAP

Sample letter to the principal of the school to exempt your child from the abuse of standardized tests. You do not need to say anything other than this, according to the law in most states. You may want to tell the principal why you are doing this, but you are not required to do so.


Dear Principal:  
I do not want my child ____________________________________ to take the [TEST NAME] this year. 




  1. "Way out of the box" indeed...and off the deep end. I don't agree with the ridiculous emphasis placed on these high-stakes tests either, but "racist"?

  2. @Anonymous, Absolutely racist. Do a little research on your own to find out more about that. Here is a starter from this link:

    The racial and cultural bias is not primarily lodged in the content of test items.

    What makes standardized tests racist is:

    1. Disproportionate (ratio: approx. 30% to 70+%) test failure rates for persons of color and English language learners as compared to white native English speakers.

    2. The tests encourage retention which disproportionately effects African-Americans and Latinos. Retention contributes to academic failure rather than to success in school. A single grade retention increases the chances that a student will drop out by 50%. A second retention increases the risk by 90%.

    3. Since there is no demonstrable connection between performance on a standardized test and a person’s actual academic achievement, to deny a person access to educational opportunities on the basis of test scores alone is to institutionalize racism.

    4. The technology of standardized tests creates and inflates differences that have little or no educational significance. The actual ‘race gap’ in scores is about 10% (range of 8 -15% regardless of the test.) On a 50 item multiple choice test this represents a difference of 2–4 test items.

  3. "The racial and cultural bias is not primarily lodged in the content of test items."

    You just refuted your own argument. The tests are not racist. Do a little research yourself, I would suggest reading some of Steele & Aronson's work on Stereotype Threat...very interesting reading.

  4. No. I didn't refute my own argument. First, I wrote it is not "primarily." although there are elements that absolutely are. The primary issue though is what is mentioned in the four reasons. I have done research. There's always more that can be done of course. Regardless of anything new I read I am convinced that tests serve as gatekeepers, unjustifiably leaving many behind.

  5. Parents do not have much of an option in FL. Kids who do not pass are automatically placed in remedial classes for the full next year. Also, they fail the grade if they do not pass 3rd grade testing. They cannot graduate high school unless they pass 10th grade FCAT. Supposedly, they can take the SAT instead but that costs money. Plus, I do not know if they would be ok missing that many days in high school. The test is given in parts over 2 weeks. Then there is a make up day or two. It'd be tough to boycott the FCAT.