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June 16, 2015
Dear Representative Reed:
Parents Across America is pleased to endorse H. 2382, the Enable More Parents to Opt-Out Without Endangering Resources Act.
PAA is a non-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization that connects parents of all backgrounds across the United States to share ideas and work together to improve our nation’s public schools. PAA is committed to bringing the voice of public school parents – and common sense – to local, state, and national education debates.
We thank you for sponsoring this bill, which addresses a concern of great importance to parents and to our children, and offers a critical step in moving public education away from the misuse and overuse of standardized tests resulting from years of misguided education policy making.
This bill is especially welcome to our membership of active parents across the U.S., many of whom have personally experienced the very punitive actions H. 2382 is designed to stop. These parents have been “sent to the principal’s office,” called at home with intimidating messages, and accused of threatening school funding. Their children have experienced worse – many have been excluded from school for days while others are being tested, or denied breakfast, made to sit alone for hours without a book or activity, excluded from treats and prizes offered to tested students, and singled out for other hurtful treatment.
Parents know that the takeover of testing in our schools is hurting our children and undermining the promise we as a nation have made to provide every child with a free, quality education. That is why so many of us have taken the serious step of opting our children out of standardized testing. Our message is clear – we will not allow our children to be subjected to policies and practices that are harmful and have not led to improved academic outcomes. On the contrary, we know that our children are currently being offered a narrower, less comprehensive curriculum than what was available prior to the testing excesses that began with the No Child Left Behind Act and continue today under the Common Core testing regime. We know that these standardized tests show very little of what our children know and are able to do, while unduly influencing nearly every aspect of their schooling.
We believe that H. 2382 will contribute to our efforts to bring about more effective assessment and accountability systems that offer meaningful information to parents and help us work in partnership with teachers and schools for a better education for our children.