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Fri Mar 29, 2013, 07:58 AM

Your child does NOT have to take FCAT to be promoted to 4th grade. You can OPT OUT OF FCAT!

Join the movement to end the corporate education model!

Here is information on how the parents of one 3rd grader exempted their child from FCAT. They are attorneys and understood the law, but this is so easy anyone can do it! State law ought to require parents to be informed of this at the beginning of the year!


My son opted out of FCAT two years ago (the 2010/11 school year) in Orange County, Fl (Orlando). We were told, incorrectly, we couldn’t opt out because he’d fail 3rd grade, have to take summer remedial reading, be truant b/c he couldn’t be at school or he’d be tested, etc. All the usual stuff.

My husband and I decided to skip further talks with the principal and District personnel (since they didn’t know the law) and go straight to the district’s legal adviser. We met and on May 19th, 2011 received a letter indicating that yes, a student portfolio was an option to allow our son’s promotion to 4th grade. Our son didn’t take the FCAT, the school provided a student portfolio and he was promoted to fourth grade.

The fact that my husband and I are both lawyers helped of course- we came to the meeting with the relevant statutes, argued why they applied and provided a couple newspaper articles about others who had opted out of FCAT (including a school board member in another county). Legal, it seemed, was not expecting us to be so prepared (although I am sure they were warned we were lawyers).

If this would be helpful to another Florida family, please share. And in Orange County, Florida, the Orange County Public School’s legal’s Associate General Counsel, Eileen Fernandez, authored a May 19th, 2011 letter documenting that student portfolios are an acceptable way to allow promotion to fourth grade. (In Florida, you must show reading proficiency in third grade to be promoted to fourth grade.)

Thanks for all your hard work! I hated what the FCAT mania was doing to my son, his education and his school. I’m sure it is even worse now that teacher pay is tied to it and FCAT standards have to keep going up since there are only a couple years left before everyone has to be proficient.

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Reply Your child does NOT have to take FCAT to be promoted to 4th grade. You can OPT OUT OF FCAT! (Original post)
Orlandodem Mar 2013 OP
Sancho Mar 2013 #1
Orlandodem Mar 2013 #2
hay rick Mar 2013 #3
Orlandodem Apr 2013 #4
CarolinaOrlando Apr 2013 #5
Jacsha Apr 2014 #6
gopiscrap Apr 2014 #7
Baitball Blogger Apr 2014 #8
laurenmel Jun 2014 #9

Response to Orlandodem (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2013, 06:28 AM

2. Does anyone know how we can get a copy of the May 19, 2011 letter referenced

in the OP? We should post it here, Facebook, PTA websites and even on CTA bulletin boards in schools. This movemnt MUST grow. The corporate education model must end!

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Response to Orlandodem (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 30, 2013, 08:51 PM

3. Followed some links and came to this letter.


"Please use this letter..modify as needed!!!"

To Whom It May Concern:
Please be advised that our child will not be participating in state standardized testing during the current school year. Furthermore, we ask that no record of this testing be part of our child's permanent file, as we do not wish our child to participate in standardized achievement testing for promotion, graduation, or school/state report cards.

We believe the following of forced, high stakes testing:
•Is not scientifically-based and fails to follow the U.S. Government’s own data on learning
•Fosters test driven education that is not meeting the individual/intellectual needs of students
•Presents a racial and economic bias that is beneficial to white middle/upper class students and detrimental to second language students, impoverished students, and students of color
•Violates the United States Constitution’s ESEA Fiscal Fairness Act
•Supports complicity of corporate interests rather than democracy based on public concerns
•Fosters coercion over cooperation with regards to federal funding for public education
•Promotes a culture of lying, cheating, and exploitation within the school community
•Has used the achievement gap to foster a “de facto” segregation that has resulted in separate and unequal education for minorities

We understand that federal law provides the parent or guardian the right of choice regarding standardized testing when such testing violates spiritual beliefs. In contrast to our spiritual beliefs, which are firmly rooted in a moral code that embraces equity and fairness, we believe such testing is not in the best interests of our child since it fosters competition instead of cooperation, contributes to separate and unequal education for minorities, and belies our child’s intellectual, creative, and problem-solving abilities, while presenting a fictitious picture as to the impact of the pedagogy provided by our child’s individual educators. Ultimately, our state is required to provide our child with an education in a least restrictive environment that does not force us to go against our spiritual beliefs. My child should proceed to learn and develop at an individual pace following education standards that are imparted under the guidance of education professionals, not market-based reformers, who are able to provide quality pedagogy without fear of reprisal if students - who mature at vastly different levels and come from diverse backgrounds that may or may not be supportive of intellectual pursuit - do not hit the bulls’ eye of a constantly moving achievement target.

Therefore, we request that the school provide appropriate learning activities during the testing window and utilize an alternative assessment portfolio or concordant college testing score to fulfill promotion and or graduation requirements, as our child opts out of standardized testing.

Child’s Name ____________________________________________

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Response to hay rick (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 1, 2013, 08:45 PM

4. This needs to go viral. Tweet it. Facebook it. Post to other message boards.

It is tme to go to portfolio assessment over corporate testing!

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Response to Orlandodem (Reply #4)

Thu Apr 4, 2013, 08:36 AM

5. Need to do more

I will post this on to all the FB groups I am in and post on Fund Education Now.

But have you all seen that the news are already reporting that opting out is breaking the law.

There is a child who is being forced to take it who has no brain.

Somehow we have to get this in people's faces faster.

If anyone is willing to hit the streets to get information out to the parents let me know.


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Response to Orlandodem (Original post)

Tue Apr 8, 2014, 08:54 AM

6. Time to request opt out

Should this be asked at the beginning of the school year?

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Response to Orlandodem (Original post)

Tue Apr 8, 2014, 10:22 AM

8. Link seems to be broken.

Does anyone know who the lawyers were, and who was the District legal adviser?

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Response to Orlandodem (Original post)

Tue Jun 24, 2014, 05:04 PM


I just graduated from Westland Hialeah Senior High School and they are holding my diploma from me bc of the fcat test. I just transferred from NJ and took their test called the HSPA which is a similar one to the FCAT. I passed the test the first and was put in English Honors classes. They still said I had to pass the fcat in order for me to get my diploma. this is absolutely ridiculous and I don't know what further to take. I am going back to NJ for college and can not register for classes bc I don't have my diploma. PLease help and advise me on what steps I should take. Thank you!

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