Is the Nashua Superintendent Purposely Misleading Parents?

We’ve posted information on REFUSING the Smarter Balanced Assessment for your children. There’s even a petition to stop the abusive practices by the NH Dept. of Education. Unfortunately we continue to see administrators not providing parents with ALL of the information on their rights to refuse the Smarter Balanced for their children.

This latest letter comes from a parent in Nashua who was upset that the Superintendent didn’t provide all of the information for parents on their right to “Refuse”.

This is why HB603 is needed. HB603 declares that a student exempted from taking the statewide assessment by the student’s parent or legal guardian shall not be penalized. The bill also requires a school district to provide an appropriate alternative educational activity for the time period during which the assessment is administered..

Please call Governor Hassan and ask her to sign HB603 and support parents.

Parents also need to hold their school administrators accountable for the lack of information they are providing to parents. Manchester chose to fully inform parents on their refusal rights. Why are other schools choosing to keep parents in the dark?

It’s time to march into the next school board meeting and let them know this is unacceptable.

May 15, 2015

Dear Parents:

The State of New Hampshire requires an annual statewide assessment for English Language Arts and Math for students in grades 3-8 and 11. RSA 193-C:6 states, “Each year, a statewide assessment shall be administered in all school districts in the state in grades 3-8 and one grade in high school. All public school students in the designated grades shall participate in the assessment…”

To meet this requirement in English Language Arts and Math the State has chosen the Smarter Balanced assessment. To meet a similar requirement in science, for many years the State has participated in the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), which is administered to students in grades 4, 8 and 11.

All public school students in the designated grade levels are required to participate in the Smarter Balanced and Science NECAP assessments, with only limited exemptions approved by the NH Department of Education for such circumstances as a serious illness or a death in the family. There is no opt-out provision in state statute based on parental choice. However, based on a recent Board of Education motion, if you keep your child out of school on the day of the assessment, the school will consider this an excused absence.

These assessments provide valuable information about your child’s progress, and the school’s progress, to parents, teachers and students. Should you have any further concerns I would invite you to contact Jennifer Seusing, our Assistant Superintendent for Accountability and Assessment, at 966-1069, or at SeusingJ@nashua.edu. She will be happy to meet with you to discuss your concerns.

Sincerely,

Mark Conrad
Superintendent of Schools

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: What to do when your school administrators mislead you