Tag Archives: mislead

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.


Mark Conrad
Superintendent of Schools

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

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.