The State Board of Education has not yet decided what type of consequences they will place on children who refuse to take the AzMerit in 2017. Also, a decision has not been made as to how schools will be graded on their students’ test scores. Please contact Gov. Ducey here and politely ask him to direct the Board to end high stakes testing and detrimental consequences being placed on children for a once a year test. Please also tell him that parents should have the right to see any test that their minor aged children take in their schools. Currently, parents are not allowed to view the test unless they sign a form at the Arizona Department of Education that will wave their right to free speech –even if a parent sees something on the test that goes against their moral or religious beliefs. Teachers are also not allowed to view the AzMerit. If they do, they are at risk for losing their teaching license.
In 2015 and 2016, the AzMerit did not hurt schools or students, if a parent refused to take the test. Gov. Doug Ducey realized at the time he came into office that the AzMerit was a new, unproven, and not yet validated test. (The AzMerit has yet to be validated still, and the creators of the test are using our children as guinea pigs to finish the validation process.) Our governor realized then that a moratorium had to be placed to protect children and schools from any consequences from scoring poorly on the invalid test. The moratorium lasted only two years. The Mommy Lobby AZ is encouraging our governor and state legislature to understand that this moratorium should be extended indefinitely and are doing their best to educate them on the problems with 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 2015 and 2016:
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.”