Parents from the ICE Parent Action Committee (ICE PAC) were in the cafeteria during parent teacher conferences with test refusal letters. If you took one, but didn't sign on the spot, please consider doing so now. Signed letters can be sent with your child to the advisory teacher, who will hand it on, or given directly to Pete or Mark. If you are a middle school parent who did not get a letter, ICE PAC will be sending them out via class lists in the near future.
You have a right to refuse the tests and doing so supports the unique approach of this school and its teachers. Last year, 85% of all ICE 6-8th graders opted out. In New York State there were 240,000 test refusals (or 1 out of 5 eligible test takers).
We are lucky at ICE; most of the city's 3rd through 8th graders, unlike our children, endure weeks or even months of test prep. They trade recess, music, and art for bubble sheets. They swap inquiry and investigation for familiarization drills and "looking for the main idea."
You might be tempted to think, "I'd just like to know how my child would do." Or maybe your child has expressed that sentiment on her own.
Please be aware and share with your child that these tests are not benign instruments like a newspaper crossword puzzle that you might fill in to test your prowess. They are the foundation of a system that removes autonomy from teachers. They are used to close schools or send them into state receivership. Their effects are disproportionately felt in poor communities and communities of color. And they are not reflective of the ICE curriculum, nor have your children had any explicit preparation to succeed on them.