"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Opting Out Is a Form of Free Speech

Massachusetts has always preferred the democratic sounding "school committee" to the corporate sounding "school board."  The statement below reflects a deep democratic commitment.

From the Amherst-Pelham, MA School Committee (posted by R. Rosa at Facebook):
By law, students, in consultation with their families, have the right to opt out of state-wide standardized tests such as MCAS and PARCC. Consistent with prior practice, students along with their families, who choose to exercise a student’s right to opt out of these assessments—either by a statement or a note from parents or guardians—will not be subject to any form of negative consequences from the school district.

Opting out will not have negative implications for grades or class placement of any individual student. High School students should be aware that Massachusetts regulations dictate that a passing score on the tenth grade level MCAS is a graduation requirement. Educators who choose to discuss the right to opt-out with their students or with parents shall not be subject to any form of retribution by anyone in the Amherst or Amherst Regional public schools.

We are pleased to reaffirm that free speech is a fundamental right of all members of our educational community.

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