The Arizona State Board of Education has not yet decided what type of consequences they will place on students who refuse to take the AzMerit. However, they are very hesitant on making the AzMerit a high stakes test since parents have been heavily protesting and complaining about it. (Make your voice heard today!) Opt Out AZ is working hard to get laws passed where parents will have the legal right to opt out, view the test questions, and keep their children’s personal information safe.
Parents do not want their children to take the test because:
- The AzMerit has never been validated while lining the pockets of testing consortia. The American Institutes for Research (a testing partner with SBAC) is using our children as guinea pigs to get their test validated at no cost to them –while they are charging our state millions of dollars per year (money that could go to increasing teacher pay).
- Parents are not allowed to see the test questions –ever! Teachers are also not allowed to view the AzMerit either. In fact, teachers are obligated to sign a contract that they will not even take a peek –or they could lose jobs. If a parent does want to view the test questions, they must first receive special permission from the Arizona Department of Education. Next, parents are required to sign a document that will waive their first amendment rights to freely speak out about the test questions –even if they see something that goes against their moral or religious beliefs.
- Parents are protesting data mining. Their are very few limitations on what testing companies can or cannot do with personal student information that they collect when a child takes the test. The American Institutes for Research (AIR) who administers the AzMerit also recently experienced a data breech. Mandatory collection of personal information is a violation of 4th amendment rights. Parents are also protesting the creation of a national student database called the Statewide Longitudinal Database System. The Race to the Top contract that brought us Common Core also obligated our state to report personal student information to this unconstitutional, national database. National databases are very anti American.
- Parents want teachers to stop teaching to the test. The majority of schools spend one to three months of valuable classroom time preparing their students to take the AzMerit. Parents view this as a waste of time and resources when their children could do some actual learning.
- We do not want to become like China! China is known for high academics, high stakes testing, obedience, and stress. Americans are known for creativity, thinking out-of-the-box, innovative thinking, and their entrepreneurship. Not a single major invention has come from China in modern times –even when they are ranked among the highest in the world for test scores.
- The AzMerit is aligned with the controversial Common Core standards. Parents are protesting the Common Core standards by protesting the aligned test.
High Stakes Testing is becoming very unpopular! Thank you to parents and teachers who have contacted Governor Ducey to tell him your feelings about the AzMerit. If you have not contacted him yet, please do so right now! (Contact Gov. Ducey here.) Please politely keep the pressure up and ask him to direct the Arizona State Board of Education to end high stakes testing.
Gov. Ducey signed SB1289 on March 26, 2015 that protected both schools and students from any ill effects of the AzMerit only in the 2015 and 2016 school years. The State Board of Education has not yet made any determination of what type of consequences they will place on students who refuse to take the AzMerit in 2017.
Sec. 2. Assessments; student letter grades; moratorium
“Notwithstanding any other law, a pupil’s score on an assessment selected pursuant to section 15-741, Arizona Revised Statutes, may not be used as a factor in determining a pupil’s letter grade in any particular course in school years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.”