CSAP/TCAP Opting Out Information

In 2011 there were 1,427 parent refusals for CSAP, 2,754 tests not completed.
In 2010 there were 324 parental refusals for CSAP, 696 tests not completed.
Parent refusals have increased every year since high-stakes testing began.

Opting Out of High-Stakes Testing:
A Guide to Exercising Your Parental Rights (PDF)

Opt Out

TCAP/CSAP – Your legal rights as parents
Real opt out letters (Sample 1, Sample 2, Sample 3, Sample in Spanish)
Watch the Parents Rights bill debate
Read the Parental Right bill
Q&A with Angela Engel

TCAP refusal letter

We are respectfully notifying Powell Middle School that Grace Engel and Sophie Engel will not be participating in the state-wide assessment program, TCAP. They have alternative work and are prepared to complete their studies in the media center.

We fully trust Grace and Sophie’s teachers and their assessment of our daughters’ educational needs and progress. As parents, we support a meaningful education, one filled with passion, inquiry, discourse, imagination, and critical thinking – all wonderful things cultivated by excellent teachers- and those very things that high-stakes testing jeopardizes. When it comes to accountability, parents are the first line of defense and it is our responsibility to advocated for our children, a quality education, and meaningful learning opportunities.


Angela and Paul Engel

Take Action

Join our constituent lobbyist group
• Add your name to the growing number of parents opting out
Opt in – Ask to see your child’s graded standardized test


Parents, if you have experienced educational malpractice or attempts to coerce, cajole and outright bully parents into high stakes standardized testing, or if your children have experienced any name-calling or intimidation, one of our stalwarts, Nina Bishop, is collecting the information so that the ACLU has a good idea of what so many of our parents and their children are enduring in our schools under the misnomer of education reform.

Please get in touch with Nina and share your story. The ACLU requires that all documentation be sent via traditional mail. Here is the pertinent information:

Nina Bishop
3065 Windward Way
Colorado Springs, CO 80917

Our Partners

The Coalition for Better Education
United Opt Out



Preschool not a priority for some legislators -HB 1091

Read Representative Judy Solano’s thank you letter to supporters:

From: State Rep. Judy Solano [mailto:judy.solano.house@state.co.us]
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2012 8:29 AM
Subject: A Letter to Thank My 1091 Supporters

State Representative
200 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Capitol: 303-866-2918

Committee Membership
Ranking Member:



Teachers or Bureaucrats?

Today, I sent out letters of gratitude to 20 parents, teachers, students and concerned citizens who took time out of their lives to speak for my bill, HB 12-1091. I admire their dedication to quality education and their refusal to accept the status quo that is being pressed on them by bureaucrats. These men and women showcase the activism that is needed to keep education from relying even more on ineffective, standardized testing.

These citizens standing up for children were challenged by bureaucrats standing up for their own jobs. The opposition stressed the need for data, growth models, and seemingly infinite information on students. Parents and teachers stressed the need to return to the proven fundamentals of education.

One such fundamental, early-childhood education, has been neglected in favor of more testing. Studies have overwhelmingly shown the value of early-childhood education. Children who receive quality preschool and full day kindergarten have consistently and significantly outperformed children who did not receive the same education opportunities.

Not only is academic achievement heightened in students who went to preschool, but kids are more likely to stay in school, go to college and have a job later in life. Preschool also dramatically decreases the likelihood of unwanted pregnancy, being imprisoned, and receiving welfare. Adults who had access to quality early childhood education generate more tax revenue due to better job opportunities.

It is unfortunate that the Republicans on the State Affairs Committee decided to side with bureaucrats rather than schoolchildren. The State of Colorado will continue to fund ineffective, redundant and costly CSAP/TCAP testing while allowing an immensely successful program to go underfunded. There are more than 3,500 at-risk children in Colorado who qualify for the Colorado Preschool Program but will not be able to attend because of budget constraints.

I find it unconscionable that American children are being denied an opportunity to achieve their full potential because we would rather fund growth models and data collection.

A decade of CSAP testing has not produced a decline in the dropout rate or a closing of the achievement gap. Focusing on quality early-childhood education is a proven way to fix these issues. We cannot afford to have a generation of workers who have dropped out of high school. We cannot afford a generation of workers who
are not proficient in math or writing. Our economy needs smart, innovative workers who can compete in a global marketplace.

When I was a teacher, education was about making connections, inspiring children and guiding them toward their goals and aspirations. Teachers are equally passionate about making sure students achieve their highest educational potential. However, education is devolving into a pattern of test preparation and number crunching. Authentic learning cannot occur when the sole focus is on increased test scores.

The true winners of standardized testing are testing corporations and for-profit management corporations. Tax dollars are drained into the coffers of corporations and have led to record profits and little accountability.

It is my hope that the passion and dedication on display from students and teachers will continue to showcase this issue. CSAP testing is not the answer to a lagging educational system. We have to give kids the opportunity to succeed before we can reasonably expect to test their proficiency.

It is time for policymakers to understand that there is much more to education than penciling in a bubble.



Peace Jam event this Saturday

Great group of people and wonderful opportunity for young people to engage in world change.


Colorado Mini-Jam
Date: Saturday, March 10th
Time: 10am to 5pm

Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center
2836 Welton Street
Denver, Colorado 80205
(please bring your lunch)

Co-hosted by: YES!, PeaceJam
Foundation and The Patchwork School