Spring is finally here! Say hello to birds, flowers, one or two last minute snow storms and…the annual ritual of standardized testing. Whether your state uses PARCC or SBA, the testing window opens around March and continues for 6-8 weeks until May. Testing season also means opt-out season. Last year saw record numbers of opt outs as students and parents from New York to California chose not to feed the data beast and buy into a system that treats students, schools, and teachers as the sum of their scores.

To find your opt-out options, check out United Opt Out National’s home page: http://www.unitedoptoutnational.org/.

Wondering why you should opt out? Here’s a great link from The Huffington Post. Don’t negotiate with hostage takers! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/8-reasons-to-opt-out_us_58c1f92be4b070e55af9ed41

Many who care about public education are deeply concerned about the nomination of Betsy DeVos as US Secretary of Education and what her nomination will mean for our public schools. Clearly, the DeVos agenda will mean more public money funneled into the hands of private companies, corporations and religious organizations, as detailed in the articles below. http://www.businessinsider.com/betsy-devos-loves-school-choice-heres-what-that-means-2017-2

Many thanks to Stephen Krashen for speaking at our March U4K webinar on the importance of poverty, inequality and the importance of reading. Watch the webinar and find a plethora of information about reading and language on Stephen’ blog: http://skrashen.blogspot.com

U4K and CU Denver are co-sponsoring a social media training for activists on Monday, April 10 at CU Denver. Learn to rock social media – information and registration here: https://www.smore.com/437mm-social-media-4-educational-activism
Finally, we would like to invite you to attend the Colorado State Board of Education meeting on April 12th between 10am and noon. Several coalitions are organizing to provide public comment from the parent, student and teacher perspective.