Nobody has to take the MEAP and no tenured teacher should be forced
to give it. Students have a right to opt out of the MEAP, all students.
Students can opt out for religious reasons (the Universal Life Church of
Detroit has condemned the MEAP), for reasons of civil rights (the MEAP,
like all of the big high-stakes tests is a racist exam), and students can
simply not come to school: sleep through the MEAP.
Teachers should not have to teach to the MEAP and should not have to
administer it. Teachers can opt out for the religious reasons described
above, for reasons of civil rights, or simply by invoking the code of ethics
of the NEA which is in nearly every Michigan teacher contract. A similar
code is promoted by the AFT.
On the reverse side of this flyer we offer a
form to opt students out of the MEAP (you really don't need a form-just
don't go). And we reprint a section from the NEA code of ethics.
There are many resources on the www which will provide you with readable
and scholarly information about standardized curricula, high stakes tests,
and school take-overs. These are resources we think are especially helpful-which
will lead you to others.
Rich Gibson's web page for a democratic society
Wayne Ross, editor of Theory and Research in Social Studies on resegregating
Susan Ohanian in PDK on Standardized Curricula and Exams
Alfie Kohn's www page on testing and standards
The Assessment Reform Network Discussion List
The Whole Schooling Consortium
Fairtest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing
Academic Freedom, Teachers, and the Law
Dear School Administrator:
This is to notify you that I am not going to subject my child to high-stakes
standardized exams, specifically the MEAP.
I choose to withdraw my child from the MEAP because:
( ) It is a racist exam and hence in violation of the civil rights act.
() The test is designed to divide and exclude children which is not in the public good. This exclusion is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
() I have religious objections to the exam.
() I do not believe that tests of this sort represent the best educational interests of children or teachers.
() The exam makes no sense. It is poorly drawn, improperly scored, unprofessionally administered by the Michigan Department of the Treasury.
() All of the above.
Please be advised that I am aware of a considerable body of scholarly
work in opposition to high-stakes standardized exams. In addition, I have
indicated above that I have legal protection and I will invoke my rights
under the law, including my rights to be free of retaliation for exercising
my rightful options.
Teachers, The NEA Code of Ethics Suggests
You Should Act Against the MEAP
PRINCIPLE I: Commitment to the Student
This key section of the NEA Code of Ethics suggests that professional
educators should have nothing to do with the MEAP: "(Educators) Shall not
on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, marital status,
political or religious beliefs, family, social or cultural background,
or sexual orientation, unfairly-- A. Exclude any student from participation
in any program B. Deny benefits to any student C. Grant any unfair advantages
to any student D. Shall not use professional relationships with students
for private advantage. The entire Code is at: http://www.nea.org/aboutnea/code.html