Opt-Out Letters at Parent Teacher Conferences

It's that time of the year--state ELA and Math exams are coming up.  Parents from the ICE Parent Action Committee (ICE PAC) will be in the cafeteria during parent teacher conferences with test refusal letters.  Please consider signing an opt out letter to exercise your right to refuse the tests and to support 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.

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 black and brown communities.  And they are not reflective of the ICE curriculum, nor have your children had any explicit preparation to succeed on them.

If you'd like to know more before conferences, check out http://www.optoutnyc.com or https://www.facebook.com/groups/nycoptout/