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An 8th Grader Speaks Out

Susan Notes: This is Good News because it is evidence that not all thinking has been squashed out of all students. Justin is in the 8th grade.

Littleton, CO
April 6, 2006

Dear Mr. Bush,

I disagree with CSAP testing and think it should be banned from the school’s curriculum. I have educated myself enough to know that the test has an impact on schools but does not influence nor change student’s grades. A few of the ways it impacts schools are in teacher evaluations on performances in the classrooms. It can impact funding to schools and finally, results can be used to impose penalties on a school under the federal “No Child Left Behind Act” if a school scores below average. With that said, CSAP testing is really used as a measuring instrument for schools and not for assessments on individual students as presented.

If it is not banned, then a parent has the right to OPT their child out without any type of punishment. To further back this up, according to Statutes/TITLE 22-1-123 “Protection of student data – parent or legal guardian consent for surveys” a school district that requires participation in an evaluation in a public school’s curriculum shall obtain the written consent of a student’s parents or legal guardian. Unfortunately, schools are using bullying as a tactic on those who have chosen to OPT out. Overall, there has to be a more effective way to monitor schools other than the CSAP tests. We are not here to perform for the schools, they should perform for us.

In conclusion, not only is CSAP testing unproductive but it’s also not in the best interest of a child. It has been shown to cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. Schools portray it as a student assessment but truth be told its purpose is simply to rate schools amongst each other. Time could and should be spent more effectively. I ask that the test be terminated and removed from school agendas. If not, I will exercise my rights and OPT out of any future CSAP testing.
Thank You,

Dustin Graham

— Dustin Graham


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