Over the last few years, a growing movement has taken place across New York State. Parents have not allowed their children to take the grade 3rd-8th state tests that are given each spring. In the Wappingers Central School District last year, over 40% of our 3rd-8th grade students refused to take the high-stakes tests. Last year 265,000 students, an increase of about 10% over 2015’s 240,000 students statewide refused to take part in state testing.
While it would be inappropriate of an individual teacher, or the collective voice of a community’s teachers, such as the Wappingers Congress of Teachers, to advise you on what is best for your child, the WCT wholeheartedly supports a parent’s right to refuse these high-stakes tests. 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 WCT strongly encourages our fellow members of the Wappingers Central School District to investigate this growing movement to help inform your decision on this very important topic and to refuse the tests on behalf of our own children. 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 WCT values your child as more than a test score!