United to Counter The Common Core Agenda Through Mobilization

Student taking bubble test

The steps to refusing excessive, high-stakes testing are simple in New York - craft, sign, and send a letter to your school district. Refusing the tests is not a decision most parents take lightly. If you've done your homework and you're ready to refuse, we’ve made it easier with a fill-in-the-blanks refusal letter that you can print and send to your school district. It’s as easy as one-two-three:

  1. Tell us your child(ren)s name and which tests you’d like to refuse. Each test is described in detail, so you know exactly what you’re refusing.
  2. Fill in your return address and the school’s address to insert into the letter.
  3. DOWNLOAD the finished form directly from the page.  Just click the red DOWNLOAD link that shows on the next page.

Mail or hand-deliver the completed letter to your school's superintendent and you're done! To craft your own Refusal Letter, fill out the form below.  If you have any questions, please visit our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/United2Counter or contact us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/United2Counter

  1. New York State Test Refusal Letter

    This form will guide you in crafting a test refusal letter for your children, suitable for any New York State school district. We ask for names and addresses as we are crafting a letter that must be mailed. None of this information will be shared with any third party.

  2. Step 1: Which tests are you refusing? For which children?
  3. Choose one selection based on whether you have more than one child and more than one parent (required)
    Use Single or Multiple Children(*)




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  4. Children's Names
    EXAMPLE, Dick, Jane, and Mary (required)(*)
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  5. Do you wish to refuse the State Tests in April/May?
    Given each year in 3rd through 8th grade, these are the too-long, opaque, and largely useless tests most people are talking about. There is no known or required consequence for refusing these tests; in fact, NYSED leans heavily on schools to NOT use these test results for things like promotion or placement in honors classes.(*)


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  6. Do you wish to refuse any field tests?
    Given in all grades, the purpose of this test is to verify NEXT YEAR’s test questions by giving them to a selection of THIS YEAR’s students. State tests are created by a private company. The field tests are likewise created by the same private company, which then sells the resulting test questions back to the state. Your children are being used as research rats, without pay. From an ethical standpoint, this is wrong. And those kids will never get back the hours of instructional time that they lost while taking these field tests.(*)


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  7. Do you wish to refuse APPR/SLO tests?
    Given in all grades, some of the most popular pre-packaged tests include the AIMSweb and STAR assessments as well as "progress monitoring" tests. These tests have the horrible fame of being given to children BEFORE they learn the material, resulting in self-esteem issues before each unit even begins. If your child is being tested on material not yet covered, it’s an APPR or SLO test. These tests are primarily meant to measure the teacher’s effectiveness, not your child's knowledge. They also never appear on a report card and are roundly viewed as a poor way to evaluate a teacher.(*)


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  8. Do you wish to refuse surveys and data collection without parental approval?
    Given in all grades, surveys have been used in the past to collect student information for teacher planning as well as demographic information about a school district population. After RTTT, this information is often stored in a longitudinal database stored on a cloud-based server and accessible to a wide range of educational providers. This refusal requests that teachers contact a parent for approval prior to collecting any such information. (*)


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  9. Do you wish to refuse the science tests?
    Given only in 4th and 8th grade, these tests are not common core aligned, are created and graded by NYS teachers, and are largely hands-on. The test itself presents no problem; it seems to be an example of a “good” test. However, the data from this test is sent to the state, so it will go into the data collection.(*)


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  10. Step 2: Where will you mail this letter from / to?
  11. Parent's Names
    EXAMPLE: John and Jane Smith -or simply- Jane Smith (required)(*)
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  12. Parent's Street Address
    EXAMPLE: 123 Any Street, Apt B(*)
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  13. Parent's City, State, and Zip
    EXAMPLE: Anywhere, NY 14000(*)
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  14. Superintendent's Name
    EXAMPLE: Dr J R R Tolkein
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  15. School District Name
    EXAMPLE: Best Central School District -or- Best Union Free School District (*)
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  16. School District's Street Address
    EXAMPLE: Best Central School District -or- Best Union Free School District (*)
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  17. School District's City, State, and Zip
    EXAMPLE: Anywhere, NY 14000(*)
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  18. Step 3: Where do we send your completed refusal letter?
  19. Email Address
    Please enter YOUR email address. You can download your PDF letter at the bottom of the next page, however, we will also email a copy of your letter to this address, along with instructions on how to send it, so please check your spelling! (required) Please do not send this email directly to your district or school email addresses.(*)
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  20. Select Today's Date To Timestamp This Form(*)

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