'The 2014 figures show that 1,412 parents exempted their children, up from 946 in 2013...' From CSAP to TCAP to PARCC the nonsense is the same. Colorado Resistance continues tradition of billboards to assist families opting out

Although some individuals and groups try to claim that The Resistance to high-stakes testing as the basis for corporate "school reform" began in the Pacific Northwest during the past three or four years, the fact is that The Resistance has been around for more than 15 years, both in Chicago and elsewhere (including in the Tacoma-Seattle area). And so as the 2014 - 2015 school year began, one of many outposts of that Resistance once again hoisted its "flag" over the highways of Colorado, proclaiming once again the right of families to Opt Out their children from the Colorado testing program.

A 2014 Colorado Opt Out billboard, continuing a tradition of building resistance for more than a decade. The billboards for the 2014 - 2015 school year will chance the test name to PARCC, noting that shifting high-stakes tests are "new name, same old game." Substance photo by Don Perl.It's been at least ten years since the Colorado Opt Out movement began placing billboards high above the streets to encourage parents to learn how to opt out their children on the silly state tests. Even before there was Common Core and the reign of Pearson, Colorado Opt Out was articulating the arguments against the program.

An update from Colorado came in September 17:

“The good news is that our billboard campaign is off the ground," Don Perl wrote to Substance. "We have had a few early donations to the cause and our account at the Weld Schools Credit Union is just over $1,000. The donations have come from Boulder and Greeley, Colorado. Each year we have seen more parents exempt their children from this boondoggle of testing. The 2014 figures show that 1,412 parents exempted their children, up from 946 in 2013. I am attaching a photograph of last year’s billboard. This year’s boards will have a similar look, of course with the change of acronym to PARCC.

“We have contracted with Mile Hi Outdoor Advertising for two billboards. One on Route 85 south of Greeley, and the other in a high visibility area in South Denver at Hampden and Santa Fe Avenues. The two billboards will cost $3,700 and will go up in mid-January, symbolically around the celebration of the works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We will have the billboards for at least one month and likely for longer if all is well. “All donations are greatly appreciated, no matter the amount. “Revolutionary headquarters” is at the following address:

“The Coalition for Better Education, Inc.

2424 22nd Avenue

Greeley, Colorado 80631”

Their website provides more information on how families can opt out…

The 2014 - 2015 design of the Colorado Opt Out billboards shows part of the history of high-stakes testing -- and the hypocrisy behind the ruling class's program of testing to rank and sort. The PARCC is the current iteration of the Colorado test. Prior to that, it was the TCAP. And prior to that, it was the CSAP. The fact is that Arne Duncan and the nation's rulers will continue to experiment with a test that ranks and sorts children, teachers, and schools because the objective of the testing across the USA is not to improve schools but to provide scapegoats to corporate "school reform" millionaires, billionaires and their loyal servants in the media, the pulpit, and academe. Opt Out Letters

The Opt Out Letter is a form that can be downloaded as a PDF (in English/en Espanol) or as a print friendly form (in English/en Espa?ol) (opens a new window).

The Opt Out Letter is summarized as follows:

Please be advised that my child, ___________________________________, will not be participating in TCAP testing during the current school year. I understand that the law provides the parent or guardian the right of choice regarding this standardized testing. In my opinion, such testing is not in the best interests of our children since it promotes competition instead of cooperation, and blunts, not stimulates, our children's curiosity. I understand, too, that the school will provide appropriate learning activities during testing times. I request that no record of CSAP/TCAP testing be part of my child's permanent file.

Don Perl has also written a letter to a parent who is considering opting her child out of the CSAP/TCAP testing. He outlines all the ways that a parent is within his/her legal rights to do this in the following letter.

Click here for letter concerning legal rights

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Legal Issues

It would seem some administrators think that it is not legal to opt out. We would like to direct your attention to a provision in the Colorado Revised Statutes, which supports parental exemptions of TCAP:

CRS 22-1-123- (5) (a)

A school or school district employee who requires participation in a survey, analysis, or evaluation in a public school's curriculum or other official school activity shall obtain the written consent of a student's parent or legal guardian prior to the student being given any survey, analysis, or evaluation (emphasis added) intended to reveal information, whether the information is personally identifiable or not, concerning the student or the student's parent's or legal guardian's:

(I) Political affiliations:

(II) Mental and psychological conditions potentially embarrassing to the student or the student's family;...

See also Title 22 of the State Constitution:

Read More

A Reminder For Parents...

Your Child's Ethnicity Is Private!

Parents should also be aware that they do not need to choose a racial or ethnic designation for their children when registering them for school. This is also optional.

Estimados padres:

Queremos que ustedes sepan que tienen el derecho de dejar en blanco la parte de los documentos escolares que pide información sobre su raza o etnicidad. Si ustedes no quieren proporcionar esta información, no tienen que hacerla. La ley les protege. Esta información es completamente optativa.


September 23, 2014 at 10:14 AM

By: Susan Ohanian

Colorado opt out

I urge everyone to send a small donation to the Colorado opt out campaign--both because we're in this together and because the stalwart leader of this campaign, Don Perl, was the first teacher in the country to refuse to administer the state test--in 2001. He was an 8th grade teacher.

I interviewed him for Substance. He was featured in the Denver Post.

Don continues the fight. So can you. Send your contribution to

Coalition for Better Education

2424 22nd Avenue

Greeley, CO 80631

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