In the state of Ohio, we have made great strides against Common Core testing, also known as PARCC. For those that do not know, PARCC stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. It is an online assessment that students k-12 take twice a year. One round takes 3-weeks. Each student has to go through 2-rounds each school year. Schools have been told that they will not receive the results to these assessments until 2016.

That is a total of 6-weeks of testing just for PARCC! 6-weeks with teachers not even being allowed to use the results to modify their instruction.

This school year the students had a 17-day gap in between the two rounds. During that gap, students were expected to take the AIR and SLO assessments. AIR stands for American Institute for Research, and this assessment tests the students’ knowledge of science and social studies. After the AIR assessment, students were required to complete SLO testing. SLOs are made by the teachers of the districts to test the growth of each student in the class. The outcomes of the SLOs are used to assess the effectiveness of the teachers.

The amount of learning that is being lost during these months of testing is unacceptable!

There is a solution that we have learned from the first round of testing; you can opt your children out! When the first round of testing came, brave parents all over the state stood up for their rights and opted their students out. They did this even though they received threats that their children would not be allowed to pass.

Parents, teachers, civilians, homeschoolers, and administration all made it loud and clear to the state government that students should not be held back for refusing to take these assessments. The state house and senate both passed HB7 without an opposing vote. HB7 allowed parents to opt their students out without being punished. John Kasich, our Common Core loving governor, signed this bill into law on March 16, 2015.

Now the 2nd-round of PARCC testing is about to begin. Different districts are starting at different times, but all will start between the last week of April and the first week of May. For the parents that are opting their students out, they now have the law on their side.

Organizations here in Ohio have put together many resources for parents to be prepared to opt out. Ohioans Against Common Core has provided an opt out letter for parents to fill out and send to the administration. Click HERE for the form.

In the last round of PARCC testing, it was leaked by parents all over Ohio that some school districts were punishing students for not taking the PARCC test. These stories were heartbreaking and the people doing this to our children should be held accountable. If you opt your child out, many parents have advised to keep them home during the testing.

To parents that are planning on opting their students out: You are not alone! According to the WCPO, “…opt-out form on its site has been downloaded 24,000 times…”. The Ohio Department of Education is refusing to release the number of how many parents have opted out, but in states like New York they have had 175,000 students opt out.  There is a strong community of support through Ohio Parents and Teachers Against Common Core. There you can ask parents and teachers questions and get quick responses. Remember that you are the ones that are the catalyst for change. Encourage other parents to opt out. Opting out is legal now, and there will be no consequences. Now is the time to make a stand for students of the next generation.

For more helpful information visit these sites

Ohio Rising 

Ohioans Against Common Core 

United Opt Out