Compare Manchester to Londonderry on Refusals

Parents have been complaining about the intimidation, misinformation and bullying by administrators in their local school district when it comes to exercising their parental rights to REFUSE the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Schools are required to administer the Smarter Balanced Assessment and cannot arbitrarily exempt students. However parents do have the right to refuse their child’s participation.

Let’s compare a note that went out to the Manchester parents versus the Londonderry parents.
Which letter better explains a parent’s right to refuse? Notifying parents of their Constitutional rights does not violate NH law. If so, where does it say that in statute Commissioner Barry?

Parents, it would be wise to take the Manchester letter to your local school board and ask them to explain why your Superintendent didn’t take the time to explain YOUR Constitutional rights to refuse? Why are they not informing parents? Why are they intimidating, and bullying parents into submission?

We’ve had parents who’ve had to hire ATTORNEYS so the school would back off.

Who does your Superintendent work for? YOU. You pay their salary and whether you allow your children to take the assessment or not, they should not be with-holding information from parents.

MANCHESTER
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
A memo from the Board of School Committee regarding Smarter Balanced Assessment
Subject: Parent Information on Smarter Balanced Assessment

March 9, 2015

Dear Parent/Guardian:

The Manchester School District is required by state and federal law to administer the Smarter Balanced Assessment. It will take place starting March 16, 2015 and must be completed by June 5, 2015. Students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 are scheduled to take the assessment.

It has come to the attention of the Manchester School District Board of School Committee that some parents object to the administration of the test and intend to keep their student from school when the test will be administered. While the Manchester School District is prohibited from encouraging nonparticipation in the Smarter Balanced Assessment process, rather than keeping student home from school during the administration of the testing, upon written or emailed notification by the parent/guardian the student will be relocated and provided alternative programming during the applicable testing period.

There will be no penalty to parents or students who do not participate in the assessment. If you have any questions about the assessment or wish for more information, please contact your child’s principal.
Posted by CommunicationsMSD at 10:36 AM

LONDONDERRY
May 8, 2015
Dear Parent or Guardian:

Smarter Balanced Assessments are the next generation of student assessment and will replace the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) beginning this spring. Londonderry High School, along with thousands of others in 24 states, will participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment in the areas of English Language Arts and Mathematics. The Smarter Balanced Assessment System will give parents more accurate and actionable information about what students are learning. We are certainly sensitive to the amount of testing that has taken place this year, and we are taking active steps to reduce that amount in subsequent years while still maintaining compliance with applicable laws and policies. We appreciate your patience as we work through this transition.

Our teachers are hard at work implementing academic standards that provide consistent guidelines in English and Math at each grade level and help prepare students to graduate from Londonderry High School “College and Career Ready.” These new benchmarks challenge students to develop a deeper understanding of subject matter, learn how to think critically, and apply what they are learning to the real world.

There has been some discussion about the ability of parents to ‘opt out’ of this assessment for philosophical or political objections. Please be advised that the School District does not have the regulatory authority to grant waivers or exceptions of any kind to the SBAC Test. Any decision by individual parents to refuse their student’s participation in SBAC must be documented with the school district by letter or email, and will be considered as parent refusals. Should students be absent from school, all existing absence policies will apply. Medical exemptions are allowable, though they must be approved by the NH Department of Education.

Our high school will administer a paper and pencil version beginning May 11. Tests are not timed; however, it will take approximately 3 to 4 hours to complete each content area test (English Language Arts and Math). Testing will be scheduled over multiple sessions to minimize disruptions. If you have any questions regarding scheduling please contact the school directly.

To comply with federal and state statute, participation in the test is required. Please note that Smarter Balanced will adhere to all federal and state privacy laws, including but not limited to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Please visit the Smarter Balanced website at www.smarterbalanced.org for more information.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at slaliberte@londonderry.org.
Sincerely,
Scott Laliberte
Assistant Superintendent
SAU #12 Londonderry School District