To friends in Washington State: Join the struggle against high-stakes testing at a rally in Olympia on February 16. Now is the time to speak and be heard in alliance with other teachers and parents. Enough is enough!

In Denver last July, the National Education Association Representative Assembly supported a campaign that would end the test, blame, and punish system that has become prevalent in public education over the past ten years. The resolution to end “toxic testing” is a powerful statement and a step we must to take to protect our students. Along with this business item, another passed that would share with educators, the rights parents have when it comes to standardized testing and their children.

At the Washington Education Association Representative Assembly in Spokane, support for parents who refuse testing for their children, also passed. A strong connection between parents and educators needs to be fostered and nurtured if the removal of toxic testing is to be realized.

To that end, a group of parents, teachers, education support professionals, and concerned citizens have banded together and are ready to step it up in order to raise awareness about testing, parental rights, and how to get support when opting out. A rally is planned for February 16, noon-3PM, in Sylvester Park in Olympia. The event includes speakers and entertainment. All who attend are encouraged to set up meetings to lobby their legislators, in an effort to end testing madness.

We need you to join us in this battle! Getting educators, parents, and students to the rally is very important. Raising awareness of parental rights is powerful. So many teachers are scared to say anything about this option due to repercussions from their districts. Concerned citizens from all areas of public education must work together so that the message can ring loud and clear: Stop toxic testing!

What we ask from you:

1. Share with your organization

a. The rally is on Presidents’ Day so what better way to make a statement than to get people to show up!

2. Get involved—Contact Becca Ritchie at r.ritchie@comcast.net if you would like to help with planning, logistics, or any other part of the rally.

3. Reach out to parents, community members, and educators who would be willing to learn about testing and/or join in this action.

4. Arrangements for donations to cover organizing costs to can be arranged through Michael Peña at waoptout@gmail.com

5. Have a sign making party to share ideas for signs to use the day of the rally.

6. Contact Shannon Ergun at LincolnTEA@hotmail.com when your organization endorses the rally.

Let’s stand together, and with a collective voice, let it be known that we will not subject our students to the toxic testing environment that has overshadowed the many joys of teaching and learning.

In Solidarity,
All 720 Washington BATs