In a five to one vote with Director Stephan Blanford giving the lone “No” vote, the Seattle School Board passed a resolution ,sponsored by Directors Sue Peters and Rick Burke, in favor of requesting the state to provide an alternative summative test to the SBAC based on the newly authorized ESSA. The request is to use a locally selected alternative summative assessment framework to measure achievement and student growth.

See Seattle Public School Board votes to pursue alternative to SBAC under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for additional information on the resolution.

We asked each of the candidates running for the position of State Superintendent to provide their thoughts on the resolution.

To follow is the response by David Spring.

The Seattle School Board Resolution asks to replace the unfair SBAC test with a fairer locally determined alternative and calls on the State Superintendent to “take all actions necessary to allow Seattle Public Schools to move forward with the use of an alternative assessment.”  This is the 500 word version of my Statement supporting the Seattle resolution. A more detailed Statement is on our website SpringForBetterSchools.


I fully support the Seattle School Board Resolution. In fact, I worked with members of the Seattle School Board for the past several months drafting this resolution. I provided the school board with numerous reports detailing the legal framework for the resolution and educational research on the benefits of alternatives to the SBAC test. A summary of the legal framework and educational benefits is provided in my more detailed statement.

I oppose the SBAC test because it is not fair or age appropriate.


In February 2015, I started Opt Out Washington to provide parents with information on why they should opt their kids out of the SBAC test.


In December 2015, I read the entire 391-page ESSA which permits use of local alternative assessments. I then met with members of the Seattle School Board to address their questions about how to replace the SBAC test.


As Superintendent, I will end the draconian SBAC test as a graduation requirement my first day in office. While other candidates claim they support the Seattle School Board Resolution and oppose to the SBAC test, there are reasons to conclude they will not assist the Seattle School Board in actually getting an alternative assessment. Nor will they end the SBAC test as a graduation requirement.


First, let’s look at Chris Reykdal’s record. While Chris claims to be opposed to the SBAC test as a Graduation Requirement, he voted to bring the SBAC test to our state and make it a graduation requirement in 2013. He has repeatedly voted to keep it a graduation requirement every year since 2013. In fact, Chris is the prime sponsor of House Bill 2214 which not only continues the SBAC test as a graduation requirement but punishes any student who opts out by forcing them to take an additional math course during their senior year that is harder than any previous math course they have ever taken. So if they passed Precalculus during their Junior Year, they would have to pass Calculus during their Senior Year in order to graduation. Chris’s bill would force on students in our state the most draconian graduation requirements in the nation!


Sadly, none of the other candidates would help Seattle Schools get an alternative assessment either – because none of them support my assertion that Article 3, Section  22 and Article 2, Section 28 of our State Constitution prohibit the legislature from imposing  unfunded mandates like the SBAC test on our schools. If I am not elected State Superintendent, students will be forced to endure four more years of the SBAC test as a graduation requirement. For the detailed version of this article, visit Why I Support the Seattle School Board Resolution to Replace the SBAC Test. 


David Spring M. ED.

Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Spring for Better Schools.org