Dear Editors:

I am writing in response to your recent article about McKinley Elementary School, where a teacher was recently accused of giving answers to a student while administering the California Standards Test.  Our son, a McKinley student, is not in the third grade class where the alleged cheating took place.  He did not take the test at all because we decided to opt him out of testing, which is a parental right the California Education Code guarantees.  We opted our boy out because we know what is happening to McKinley now and what will happen to it in the future, as long as standardized tests are used to evaluate schools: the curriculum will be narrowed, creative educators will be forced to teach to the test, and there will be cheating, because standardized tests guarantee failure, as the bar for passing them gets higher every year.  Others know this too: big business super PACS, which have recently made inroads into Burbank’s excellent schools, and threaten to turn them into charters if test scores continue to slide.  We do not know what happened in the third grade class where the cheating supposedly took place.  All we can do to support our son’s excellent public school is continue to opt him out of this harmful testing and to encourage other Burbank parents to do the same.


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