It’s no secret that refusal forms provided by school districts are designed to shame and intimidate parents into second guessing their decision to keep their children from participating in high states testing.

One Seattle parent wasn’t impressed with Seattle Public Schools aggressive and threatening refusal form.  Instead, she decided to write her own counter called the Decision to Support the Whole Child Form – The unofficial form for opting out of high stakes testing. 

Check it out. (You can download your own copy at the end of the post).


Decision to Support the Whole Child Form

The unofficial form for opting out of high stakes testing*

Please clearly print the following information and return to your school’s principal.

Student’s Name _________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian’s Name _________________________________________________________

School ____________________________________________________

Student’s Grade Level _____

As the parent/guardian of the above named student, I have made an educated decision to support my child by opting him/her out of participating in the following:

____ all portions of Smarter Balanced

____ end-of course exams in ___ Algebra ___ Geometry ____ Biology

____ certain subtests (please name subtest – ELA, MSP science)

____ MAP

My reason for this decision is: ______________________________________________________________

____ I have read and understand that:

This decision is a permanent record to document my decision about my child’s educational and emotional well-being without fear of harassment, intimidation, bullying and retaliation by Seattle Public Schools.

Students who do not participate will receive positive reinforcement in knowing they are more than a number and will not experience unnecessary anxiety.

Students who do not participate are free to engage in creative endeavors during the test time

Opting out may positively impact our school by relieving the pressure on staffing and physical space.

Teachers will not have to spend time reviewing test scores that are not reliable in measuring all student’s academic growth in the core academic areas of reading, writing, math and/or science. Instead, teachers will be able to rely on their training and professional judgment to evaluate each child as an individual with multiple strengths and challenges.

Families will not receive unreliable results and will be better able to chart their student’s growth over time by partnering with their teachers.

Smarter Balanced should not be used as the achievement for Highly Capable eligible as there is no proven correlation between achievement on this particular test and advanced learning abilities Smarter Balanced was not intended for this purpose and doing will likely to lead to more racial and socio-economic disparity to advanced learning opportunities.

Signature of Parent/Guardian___________________________Date_____________________

* This form is not published or approved by Seattle Public Schools.  You are not required to use the District’s “Refusal to Participate in Assessments Form,” state the reasons for your decision, or agree to any of the assertions stated therein. Opting out is as simple as emailing your principal

Alternative Opt Out Form

-Carolyn Leith