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Group educating parents on right to opt out

Posted: 9:52 PM, Apr 04, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-05 01:17:17-04

This year more students could opt out of taking standardized tests, if Re-igniting Association Values for Educators, better known as RAVE, reaches parents with children in elementary schools.

Rave’s efforts started last year as they targeted schools in Denver metro area. Volunteers handed out flyers to parents and students educating them on their rights to opt out.

“We want to get rid of an accountability system that is not about providing quality education but about creating numbers in children,” said RAVE member, and mother of three, Stephanie Fuhr.

Fuhr said standardized tests eliminate teacher jobs and their essential roles in the classroom. Some RAVE members are former full-time teachers who said they lost their positions due to standardized testing.

“A whole lot of us lost our career,” said RAVE member and substitute teacher, Lynne Rerucha.

The group’s efforts has had some success.  Numbers released last year by the Colorado Department of Education show fewer high school students took the tests.

But, last year’s numbers show that 90 percent of the elementary students participated in PARCC and now RAVE is using flash mobs to bring that number down.

Flash mobs are the group’s way of visiting schools and handing out flyers that detail opt-out rights.  

Fuhr says while high school students are aware, often times elementary parents don’t know much about their opting out rights.

“My daughter’s 3rd grade class has 27 students and out of them about 8 or 9 have refused to take the test,” said Fuhr.

RAVE says legislation passed in 2015 protects parents and students from being punished if they choose to opt out.