Testing Season and Opting Out Information
Mon, Feb 12 2:22pm
The Earth School

Dear Families,

Testing season will be here sooner than later, so on behalf of the ES Parent Advocacy Committee, we wanted to share some important information with you.

The school's policy is to respect each family's decision and to support children so they have positive experiences whether testing or not. However, in preparation for standardized testing season, parents of students in Grades 3, 4 and 5 are asked to let teachers know if you intend to have your child sit for the tests or refuse them (Opt Out.) Opting out is easy: Simply fill out the letter attached and give your child’s teacher (hard copies are available in the PA room as well).

​Public scrutiny of high stakes testing practices has given way to a movement of families who ​opt out of the NY ​State exams. Parents around our city and state are asserting their right to refuse the tests without penalty. About 250,000 kids statewide opted out of taking the exams the past two years. Over the last several years, The Earth School community has been a leader in this movement with about 70-75% of our community refusing the tests. This spirit of grassroots activism is what gave birth to The Earth School and schools like it. As a community, we have continued to recognize our role in improving public education by placing our trust in those closest to our children​,​ families, teachers, school communities​,​ and by standing up to promote just and responsible school policy​. ​The opt-out movement has been credited with reversing or delaying several potentially harmful policies that relied on test results for high-stakes decisions, such as student ​promotion, middle school admissions, teacher, principal, and school evaluation. Many of these battles are still underway.

If you want to familiarize yourself better with the issue, please visit:





Also attached please find:

  • Opt Out FAQs + Refusal Letter
  • Why Opt Out in 2018?
  • Middle School Survey