Dear Parents and Guardians,
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. Nowhere has this been more present than in the Comsewogue School District, where last year over 60% of our 3rd-8th grade students refused to take the high-stakes tests. This movement, referred to as the “Refusal Movement” or the “Opt-Out Movement,” has generated many questions from both parents and students, which were directed towards the members of the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association. We’d 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 PJSTA, to advise you on what is best for your child, the PJSTA wholeheartedly supports a parent’s right to refuse these high-stakes tests. Additionally, the PJSTA 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 Comsewogue School 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 PJSTA strongly encourages our fellow members of the Comsewogue 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. For more information on this topic, you may visit the websites listed at the close of this letter.
Despite New York State’s overreliance on high-stakes testing, which imposes consequences that harm our students, schools, and local communities, the PJSTA values your child as more than a test score! We look forward to continuing our dedicated partnership with you as your child is nurtured through the Comsewogue School District.
The Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association
For more information visit: