Parental 'Opt Out' gets national support! NEA adopting resolutions opposing 'excesses' of high-stakes testing and Common Core

The National Education Association's annual "Representative Assembly" has adopted a number of resolutions dealing with high-stakes testing the the upcoming problems facing teachers as the "Common Core" develops. The annual meeting, held in Atlanta, ended on July 7, 2013. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) holds its conventions every other year. The next AFT convention will be held in Los Angeles in July 2014.

*NEA RA 2013 New Business items related to testing:*

*NEW BUSINESS ITEM 3* *Adopted as Amended*

That NEA calls for a moratorium on using the outcome of the tests associated with the Common Core standards, except to inform instruction, until states and districts have worked with educators to create authentic, locally-developed curriculum, assessments and professional development related to the Common Core.


That NEA develop a comprehensive strategy to affirm our opposition to the excessive and inappropriate use of high stakes tests. This strategy will be accomplished through advocacy to and the education of the public and elected leaders, support of efforts by local and state affiliates and other appropriate actions using existing channels.

*NEW BUSINESS ITEM 12* *Adopted as Modified*

NEA will send a letter to the National Conference of State Legislatures urging legislators of its member states to take the standardized tests of the state in which they live, especially when such tests are required as part of a "high-stakes" environment in which portions of teacher evaluations are based on student test scores. The letter will emphasize that legislators should take the test under similar conditions as our students, and publish their test scores.

*NEW BUSINESS ITEM 24* *Adopted as amended*

NEA shall support the rights of parents/guardians to collaborate with teachers in determining appropriate options for assessment of student proficiency if opting out of standardized assessments, and advocate for their right to do so without retaliation.

Furthermore, NEA shall encourage its state and local affiliates to work alongside student and parent leadership groups in promoting opt out options wherever possible.

Lastly, NEA shall inform its members of current student and parent organization effort through existing communication vehicles.

*NEW BUSINESS ITEM 35* *Adopted*

In states where Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will be implemented, the NEA will support and provide guidance to affiliates in advocating for a commonsense plan for the implementation of CCSS guidelines that respect student learning time, limit the reliance on and investment in high-stakes standardized tests, and decrease the reliance on CCSS-related tests in evaluating teacher performance.

*NEW BUSINESS ITEM 75* *Adopted as Modified*

The NEA will use existing communication methods to encourage the accurate reporting of "Parental Opt Out" on "High Stakes" tests. Further, NEA should encourage states to exclude this data as a factor in teacher evaluations and school rating systems.

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