With all of the confusion over high-stakes testing set to begin the first week of March in New Mexico, it is refreshing to see at least one school district giving parents the facts and the choice to opt them out of testing that turns kids into profit centers.

From Ruidoso Municipal Schools Superintendent, Dr. George Bickert:

“parents have always had and will continue to have the parental option to have their child(ren) “opt out” of testing.

If you chose to have your child “opt out,” you will not be discouraged in any way by this district, as is your parental right.”

Click on the pages to read the full letter sent home to parents.

If only every New Mexico school district were so forthcoming.

Sidebar: Why are other schools misleading parents about their obligations under the new PARCC tests?

State Senator Howie Morales (D-Silver City), himself an educator and member of the Senate Education Committee, gives this explanation:

[E]ach school is now under a mandate from the Public Education Department (PED) that requires 95 percent of students to participate in testing. Any school that does not meet the 95 percent rate will have its school letter grade reduced to the next letter grade (an “A” school’s letter grade would be lowered to a grade of “B” and so on). This current grading system has not proven to be beneficial to instruction of students or for evaluation of teachers. In fact, it is harmful because it holds schools and teachers accountable for circumstances that they are unable to regulate.

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