Category Archives: Opting Out

NH Superintendents Working AGAINST PARENTS In Support Of HB323

New Hampshire Superintendents across New Hampshire are actively working against parents in support of HB323.
HB323 has a number of problems including the implementation of the Competency Based Assessments (PACE assessments) and we encourage parents to read these critiques if they are not familiar with this legislation.

Who supports PACE? The same people who stand behind Common Core and refuse to listen to parents in New Hampshire. People like Bill Duncan, (extreme political activist appointed to the NH Board of Ed recently)Chairman Raffio (actively lobbies against parents in support of Common Core) Rep. Rick Ladd (Chair of the House Education Committee) and Sen. Nancy Stiles. (Vice Chair of the Senate Education Committee and vocal supporter of Common Core)

Now we have Superintendents actively lobbying for passage of HB323. Why? Well many of them want to use the SAT as an alternative to the Smarter Balanced Assessment in 11th grade.

Parents might be saying, but that’s not a bad option, and we agree. Why not have options for schools so they can use the best test they feel is right for their students.

However parents need to also ask, what is PREVENTING the schools from offering the SATs now??
The answer: NOTHING.

So why do they need to pass HB323? It’s the $$$$$$$$$$

School districts could offer the SAT to their 11th grade students, they simply have to FUND IT.
The State could fund the SATs in all schools too. There is no need to pass HB323 in order to offer the SATs to high school students.

If you want taxpayer funded SATs then add it to your school’s budget. Do not lobby for the passage of HB323 because then schools are also tied to the PACE assessments.

NO LEGISLATION IS REQUIRED TO DESIGNATE THE SAT’s AS THE STATEWIDE ASSESSMENT FOR GRADE 11 STUDENTS. No legislation was ever required to designate NECAPs or Smarter Balanced as the statewide assessments over the last ten years.
No federal or state funding is at risk.

The PACE assessments come with all kinds of problems and it’s wrong to saddle the NH Senators with that baggage.

Governor Hassan got New Hampshire into the Smarter Balanced Assessment MESS and shows a lack of leadership when it comes to offering schools quality standards and testing materials. PACE is NOT an alternative parents are demanding. There is NO provision to OPT your children OUT of the PACE assessments and for that reason alone, the NH Senate should KILL HB323.

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Previous posts on PACE:

How the Reformers Destroyed Standardized Testing

A superintendent recently described standardized testing as a tool to compare schools with. He went on to say that only one test is needed so they can measure how they are doing compared to another school in the state.

No, that wasn’t the purpose of standardized testing. Standardized tests, when used properly, were a tool that parents could use to see how well their child was doing compared to other children who took the same test. Some schools would use the Stanford Achievement Test, the California Achievement Test or the Iowa Basic Skills Test. (Notice they are all achievement TESTS)

Students have been taking standardized tests in the past and it’s been a helpful tool. Parents could then address the school administrators if they felt there was room for improvement. It is a great way to engage parents in the education of their children.

Remember when the schools actually used achievement tests (tests of academic knowledge) versus the new psychometric assessments of your child’s values, attitudes and dispositions? Let’s face it, when did you ever hear of an uproar over a school using the Stanford Achievement Test?

The new testing scheme forces schools to use “assessments.” Assessments are very different from achievement tests. The new assessments measure things like values, attitudes and dispositions in a child. This information on your children will be needed as Obama’s dumbed down workforce training requires a large amount of data on each child. This is how the STATE will determine where your child goes in life.

Bureaucrats now want to know everything about your children versus give YOU, the parent, valuable information on how well your school is performing.

Parents are now turning on testing. They are refusing to let their kids take these psych assessments because they know that this no longer benefits them. Why let the government data-mine information on their children that can possibly be used against them someday in the same way they are using them against their schools and teachers?

Standardized Testing and how reformers destroyed it:

1) No Child Left Behind (NCLB) began to punish schools based on test results
2) NCLB and Common Core (CCSS) began collecting personal data on children
3) CCSS started punishing teachers with the test scores
4) NCLB and CCSS shifted the focus to giving info to bureaucrats versus informing parents
Achievement tests offer feedback to parents so they can engage the schools.
Reformers destroyed this practice when they decided psych assessments for their use was the primary purpose of standardized testing.

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.

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

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 for more information.

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

NH Moves Closer To Full Implementation of the Failed Outcome Based Ed. Model

We’ve exposed the fraud being perpetrated on parents across New Hampshire as the NH DoE continues to sell Competency Based Ed (CBE) as “new and innovative.” Everyone should know by now that CBE is the old rehashed Outcome Based fad from the 1990‘s renamed and being forced upon New Hampshire schools.

The “Competency Based Ed” fad has been called; School-to-Work, 21st Century Skills, Mastery Learning, Standards Based Ed, but we all know it’s Outcome Based Ed. CBE is based on a dumbed down workforce training model that categorizes children as human capital and teachers as facilitators.

The NH Dept.of Ed is doubling down on this model by not only forcing schools to use CBE, but force them to use CBE assessments too. The new PACE assessments are performance based assessments that has the potential of becoming a real problem in some of the core classes.

Let’s look at how CBE works in a math class and highlight the numerous problems we hear from math teachers and parents across NH.
A math teacher would like to teach the children about multiplying fractions. The teacher prefers to use the direct instruction method of teaching because they know the students need to be taught the algorithm. The teacher begins to teach students how to multiply fractions and may then decide to engage the students to use their memory to work through the problems.

That sounds like a logical approach to teaching math and yet under the CBE model, the teacher becomes the facilitator, kids work in groups and a lot of time is spent investigating and collaborating.

This approach to learning math might not be the most efficient way to cover an Algebra I class. However with CBE, the teacher is now forced through the competencies to make sure their students are collaborating while learning math.

1) Parents become frustrated knowing a great deal of time is wasted in group learning.
2) The student who may know math relatively well is often times the one who teaches the other kids in the group. This leaves some parents to question why their child is not receiving the teacher’s salary.
3) Kids often times report a lot of socializing is going on and not much learning.
4) After numerous group activities, parents begin to realize the learning process has been severely slowed down causing their children to begin falling behind their peers in schools that use a more logical approach to teaching.
5) Students often times admit they’re not learning much but hey, the teacher did manage to meet a competency by getting the students to collaborate.

In other words, there isn’t a lot of learning going on under this method because the reformers believe that the “collaboration” workforce skill is more important than learning the academic content.

This is what happens in some of classes that use the CBE model. How do we know this? We’ve been through this for the past 20 years with no real data to prove this model improves academic achievement. The NH DoE has certainly provided no independent data that CBE will improve academic achievement.

That’s one of many examples of how the Obama/Hassan administration is redesigning public education in NH. Not only are they forcing the dumbed down Common Core curriculum on our schools through the Common Core Assessment, they have also forced CBE on our schools too.

Did any NH parents ask for this? NO
Did the teachers in NH ask for this? NO
Did the legislators in NH ask for this? NO

This is all part of the Obama redesign in public education and being facilitated through the Hassan DoE.

NH Families for Education has been a vocal opposition to this entire redesign and has pushed back in an effort to support parents and teachers in NH. They are one of a few organizations that have been in this battle to stop the top-down approach to education and has been supportive of local communities driving the education in their own public schools.

Today NH Families for Education posted an article that included a letter from the U.S. Dept. of Education to NH Commissioner of Ed, Virginia Barry. In the letter it spells out how the Commissioner again, is working to fully implement CBE in our schools. This falls in line with the U.S. Dept. of Ed’s agenda to redesign public education in NH.

You are reminded that the parents, teachers and legislators in NH never asked for this.
You are reminded that this agenda comes from the FEDS.
You are reminded that our own NH DoE is almost fully funded by the Federal Govt.
You are reminded that the NH DoE is facilitating the Obama agenda, NOT the New Hampshire agenda.

We strongly encourage you to read the article and information provided by NH Families for Education.
We also strongly encourage you to read our prior posts on the PACE assessment program being pushed on our local schools.
The parents who refused to let their children take the Smarter Balanced Assessment are at a real risk if HB323 goes through as it’s been presented. There is NO provision to opt your children out of these experimental assessments based on the Outcome Based Education Model.

Knowing the OBE model is all about social engineering and not academics, we can only imagine how bad these assessments will be.

It’s critical that parents have the right to OPT out of those psychometric assessments if parents find the problems in the PACE assessments that they are seeing in the Smarter Balanced Assessments.

It’s unfortunate that the NH DoE lost the trust of many in New Hampshire by signing on to the SBAC with no input from the legislators, parents or teachers in NH.

Everyone is encourage to write to the NH Senators and tell them NO on the PACE assessments. NO on Competency Based Ed and NO to the Obama to redesign our schools.

It is up to the local communities to decide what standards, curriculum and tests should be used for their students. The NH DoE has proven they are ill-equipped to make these important decisions for our children. We trust the local communities to begin the process of setting standards, choosing quality curriculum and testing students in a way they see fit.

There is still time to REFUSE the Smarter Balanced Assessment!

We have been warning the alarm about the Smarter Balanced Assessment for a while now. We URGE parents to read the following letter that appeared in recently.
There is still time to REFUSE this assessment if your children have not taken it yet!

School testing unethical, invalid
To the editor:

I am writing to commend Shawna and David Coppola of Madbury for their decision to opt their children out of the Smarter Balanced assessment at the Oyster River School District, and to invite other families to follow suit. It is my intention to do the same with my own children.

I am a PhD level educational researcher who studies learning. My opposition to Smarter Balanced is driven by two main reservations: (1) U.S. families have, since 2001, been unwitting participants in a educational research project at an unprecedented scale, with activist reformers and legislators pushing market-based reforms underwritten by a punitive system of testing. Smarter Balanced represents the latest wave of data collection in this widespread experiment. As a researcher, I am subject to Institutional Review Board scrutiny anytime I use psychometric assessments of learning, and it is required practice to secure consent from research participants and to let them opt out at any time with no penalty. Smarter Balanced is such an assessment and should be held to the same ethical standard as all research on human subjects, in which seeking consent is mandatory.

(2) Smarter Balanced is claimed to be a valid assessment of learning. This is false in one crucial respect: Standardized tests have been shown repeatedly to lack ecological validity. In educational research, validity refers to a test’s ability to measure what it claims to measure, and not something else. Above all else, standardized tests measure children’s ability to take standardized tests. There is little correspondence between this ability and the ability to proficiently learn and perform complex tasks in normal environments. I do not necessarily fault the designers of Smarter Balanced for this problem, as it is a common mistake in educational research due to inadequate training. Nonetheless, because Smarter Balanced – and all similar metrics – cannot approximate real-life situations in which people are called upon to learn, it lacks validity in precisely the domain it purports to measure.

I regard Smarter Balanced as part of a nationwide system of compulsory participation in unethically managed, invalid research. The Coppolas are wise to exercise their rights to opt out.

Jayson Seaman

What to do when your school administrators mislead you

Many parents in New Hampshire and in other states are trying to opt their children out of the annual standardized assessments. In New Hampshire schools began testing students with the Smarter Balanced Assessment this month. Parents across the state have done their homework and many are now refusing to let their children take it.

Parents can visit a prior post that gives them information on why they should refuse the Smarter Balanced Assessment for their children.

It’s important to look at the flaws with this assessment and why others are recommending that children not take it.

We’d also recommend watching this video of Jane Robbins who explains the data collection that will take place when your children take the Smarter Balanced Assessment

Now that parents have the information they need to make the decision to refuse, it’s important to notify the school.

We recommend sending a notice to the school administrators in writing. You will also want to make sure that if your child does not participate, the school will not hold it against them.

The Technical Advisory issued by the NH Dept. of Ed found at our prior post clearly says there are no laws against a parent refusing to let their child take the standardized assessment.

If a school administrator tells you that you have no choice, then there may be a need to inform them of your rights to refuse.

Some parents have found that some of our school administrators are telling them they have no right to opt out. The proper term to use is “refusal”. It is true that there is a law that states the district has to administer the assessment to all students and that there are some exemptions. It’s important to realize that this law applies to the school and not to parents. This law is in place so school administrators do not arbitrarily exempt students from this assessment.

If an administrator gives you misleading or false information on refusals, you may need to inform them on refusals.

1) Make sure you use the term “refusal” and do not ask for an “opt out”. Parents are not asking permission, they are directing the school that they are refusing.
2) Send the notification to the teacher, Principal, Superintendent and all of your local school board members.
3) Ask for a reply indicating they are in receipt of your refusal letter.
4) Ask the administrator what the plan is for the kids who will not be taking the assessment.

If the refusal is acknowledged and there is a satisfactory plan for your child then you have the information in writing that they are going to recognize and honor your directive.

If you are told that you have no right to opt-out, then you may need to take a different approach.

Are you willing to contact members of the media who would be willing to report on this denial?
Are you willing to contact an attorney in order to help you through this process? If so, these attorneys have been briefed on the current law and will help parents exercise their parental rights on refusals.

Most parents are finding that when they inform administrators on their parental rights, they are finally acknowledging that students do not have to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment. A handful of parents have had to reach out for legal assistance but if that happens, the best thing to do is go directly to your local school board and local media and let them know that no parent should have to spend money on an attorney to exercise their parental rights.

Common Core Not Required Per NH House

Under bill approved by House, school districts not required to adopt Common Core

State House Bureau

CONCORD — Local school districts do not have to adopt Common Core education standards under a bill the House approved Wednesday.

House Bill 276 would allow local school boards to adopt their own standards that meet or exceed the state’s adopted standards without approval from the state board of education, according to bill sponsor, Rep. Rick Ladd, R-Haverhill.

He said the state board approved the Common Core standards which makes them the state standards. He said federal money supports testing associated with Common Core, but local school districts can decide on their own assessment testing as long they can show their students are proficient.
But Rep. Mary Heath, D-Manchester, said there is no need for the bill because the state board and the Department of Education do not require local school districts to adopt Common Core.

See more at:

AFT President Speaks Up For Parental Rights…..

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We at Stop Common Core in NH want to THANK Randi Weingarten for issuing an important statement on a parent’s right to OPT out of the Common Core assessments.
We warned that the reform from the Obama Administration being facilitated by Governor Hassan was NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ON STEROIDS.

We are now seeing the fallout from this destructive education reform in NH.  When will those who say they support teachers in NH start standing up for them?  Why does the NH DoE and Commissioner Barry continue to fight parental rights?

Randi Weingarten is an American labor leader, attorney, and educator. She is president of the American Federation of Teachers and a member of the AFL-CIO. She is the former president of the United Federation of Teachers.

Censorship – It’s Happening All Over

The Union Leader posted an article this morning about censorship.

NH is not the only place this is happening.

“The father of a Northwest Local School District third-grader isn’t allowed in his daughter’s school.

Eric Buwala has been banned from all school property. He can’t attend school functions if they’re in district-owned buildings, talk to his daughter’s teachers or see his child off on field trips at a school.

What did Buwala do to get himself ousted? The father of a 9-year old who has had extreme anxiety over taking state tests has been in a relentless wrestling match with the school district to allow his daughter to be exempt from some of the exams.”

Read more…