One thousand spells are cast upon the earth. Named, they are broken. That is the power of consciousness.

On June 1, 1999 the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) sided with Debra Gaudette after the Connecticut State Department of Education refused to provide her daughter’s test answers on the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT).  The USDE agreed that Connecticut State Department of Education violated Mrs. Gaudette’s parental rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in denying her access to the test information.
When his daughter was denied her diploma, Martin Swaden of Edina, Minnesota asked to see his daughter’s answers from the test used to determine who graduates from high school. Initially the state refused this father’s request. Swaden persisted threatening to sue the school district; Mr. Swaden is an attorney. When he was given the test and his daughter’s answer sheet and sat in a room with state officials, he found his daughter had accurately answered six questions that National Computer Systems, NCS, had scored wrong. Had they scored her correctly it would have been enough to raise her above the cut score determined for graduation. “When it was all over, the state determined that errors by NCS had caused 47,000 Minnesota students to get lower scores than they deserved, 8,000 to fail when they should have passed, and 525 seniors to be unjustly denied diplomas.”

Below is a sample letter that you can submit to see your child’s test, answers, and scores.

Copies of this letter should be sent to the following:
School district Superintendent
State Department of Education
Each Member of the Local School Board


I am writing in regards to the state standardized test, (test name). The high-stakes test was administered on ________(date) at ________ (school name and address). During the time the test was administered, my child__________ (your child’s name), was in the ______________(grade and teacher).

As a concerned and informed parent who believes in my right to direct my child’s education, I am writing to request my child’s test answer booklet, answer guide, and the pre-established criterion that was used to score the state standardized test. As well as any and all information you may have on my child directly relating to______(test name).  

Supreme Court ruling regarding parental rights and the Freedom of Information Act supports this request. Additional precedence was established by the United States Department of Education on June 1, 1999. The USDE sided with Debra Gaudette, a mother from Connecticut, ruling actual parts of a standardized test, then called the Connecticut Mastery Test, were in fact part of her child’s “education record” and were to be released for her review under the requirements of FERPA ACT.

According to the FERPA regulations these items must be released within 45 days of this request dated ______________ (date of letter). I am concerned that these test results may direct my child’s future educational opportunities. Thank you for your prompt reply.

Thank you,                                                     

What if Parents and Teachers call for publishing of tests
Harvard Education Letter; Opt out Movement Gains Steam
NY Television Network Features Parents Opting Out

Classes have just started here at the University of Northern Colorado and of course there is always that excitement in the air – and new hope – as students fill the campus and the classrooms.  And we are off and running with this year’s billboard campaign.   Yesterday I signed a contract with CBS Outdoor advertising for two billboards to go up after the first week of January 2013 and to run for a month.  The billboards will once again alert parents that they have the right to exempt their children from the fraud of TCAP testing (formerly CSAP).  One of the billboards will be on I-25 between Colorado Springs and Pueblo.  The second one will be on the Western slope near Montrose.  We have seen a remarkable increase in the number of parents exempting their children.  If you look at our website at you will see that in 2010 there were 324 parent refusals while in 2011 there were 1,427.  The word is going forth.  But here is the hard part:  We have an account in Weld Schools Credit Union of $600.  The boards will cost $1,800. We need to raise $1200.  So here I am soliciting funds for these boards.  Anything you can send – anything at all will be wonderful and will go directly to our account and will be used to pay for the cost of the boards. We have no administrative costs.  I’ll attach the photo of one of the boards from last year so you can see what it will look like this year.
You can put a check in the mail to:
The Coalition for Better Education
2424 22nd Avenue
Greeley, Co 80631.