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Dear fellow STA members,
Over the last few years, a growing movement has taken place across New York State. Parents have begun refusing to allow their children to take the grade 3-8 state tests that are given each spring. This movement, referred to as the “Refusal Movement” or the “Opt-Out Movement,” has generated many questions from parents, teachers and students. I would like to take a moment of your time to address some of those questions.
While it would be inappropriate of an individual teacher, or the collective voice of a community’s teachers, such as the STA, to advise you on what is best for your child, the STA wholeheartedly supports a parent’s right to refuse these high-stakes tests. Additionally, the STA supports the position that students who “opt-out” of the state tests should be given an opportunity to spend that time experiencing the high-quality instruction that they enjoy throughout the school year in the Smithtown district. It should be pointed out that neither the child nor the school district can suffer negative consequences as a result of a parent’s decision to opt their child out of the state tests.
The STA strongly encourages our fellow members of the Smithtown School District to investigate this growing movement to help inform your decision on this very important topic. In addition to being educators, many of our members are parents themselves, and have spent a great deal of personal time becoming informed about the issues at hand.
Despite New York State’s overreliance on high-stakes testing, which imposes consequences that harm our students, schools, and local communities, the STA values your child as more than a test score!
Smithtown Teachers’ Association
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