Opt-out Letter 2015

March 23, 2015

Dear New Hampshire School District,

I am refusing to allow my child, Ian Hawkins, to take Smarter Balanced assessment, the Science NECAP, or any other state standardized tests. I believe that my child’s educational progress can best be measured using his daily school work and regular classroom testing.

According to the U.S Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment, we are protected by our rights in regard to parental control over one’s child. Parental rights are broadly protected by Supreme Court decisions (Meyer and Pierce), especially in the area of education. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that parents possess the “fundamental right” to “direct the upbringing and education of their children.” (Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-35)

I believe that a single “snapshot” test, such as Smarter Balanced, cannot adequately assess Ian’s skills. I also believe this testing creates undue stress and anxiety for him. The elementary school has been wonderful in assuring Ian’s educational progress this year; it is because of this growth that I am also frustrated that instruction time is being taken away from him in order to administer these tests. Neither the school district nor his teachers will have access to the results of these tests until the next school year, which will not help anyone improve my son’s education now.

Ethically, I cannot support a test that is taking away time, money, and resources that should be used for my son’s edification.

It is for these reasons that Ian will not be taking any of the state tests this school year. I respectfully request that Ian’s class grades, class placement, and eligibility for future endeavors not be affected by refusal of this test. Please contact me so we can discuss alternative class work and/or activities for Ian while his fellow students are testing. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Pauline Hawkins


2 thoughts on “Opt-out Letter 2015

  1. amazingly written, I always enjoy reading your letters because you have the information to back yourself up.

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