Since there are several new members joining each week, I thought I would share some opt out strategy that some of us who have had a bit of opt out experience have found helpful. It has been my experience that school officials who are cowed* by WASL themselves will attempt to intimidate/coerce parents into allowing their children to take WASL. In fact, many districts (including my own) have policies whereby their principals must contact personally all parents who are opting out.  The prepared parent is the empowered parent. 


The most important things to remember when you are opting out? They're OUR schools and they're OUR kids; not THEIRS!  State superintendent Terry Bergeson cannot have my children for her WASL experiment!


If you act empowered, you are empowered. Believe me, the Bethel School District did not even attempt to influence the mother of all mothers against WASL when she opted her twins out of 7th and 10th grade WASLs.  If all else fails and you're still getting pressure, call the local press and offer to interview in front of the school at your corner rally!  They may just come on out and do it and put your picture on the front page, particularly if you have a 10th grader!  Remember, we're marching on Olympia the first day of 10th grade testing. I'll have the flyers made up before this Tuesday.


Five simple steps to Parent Empowered WASL Opt Out


1. Have your facts down and present them with the opt out letter. (Printing out Don Orlich's report and/or the statement from the WASL technical report from our website and attaching it/them to the opt out form is always a good idea.)


2. Let your district office, legislators, governor, etc... clear on up to the president, know that you are opting your child out. (cc all of these people on your letter to the principal.)


3. Write your local paper and the Seattle Times and/or PI.


4. Throw a corner rally on the first day of WASL, right across the street from the school (as long as it's not school property).


5. Call all parents you know and let them know what you are doing and how they can opt out too. (An ingenious way to do this is to borrow your 10th grader's cell phone or phone list and call all of his/her friend's parents-- thank you Jennie in Onalaska for this idea!)


Remember, if you need assistance, feel free to call your area contact from the website http://www.mothersagainstwasl.org/ or me.





*Activist word of the day:  "Main Entry: 2cow
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish kue to subdue
: to destroy the resolve or courage of <the party that Stalin had cowed -- World Press Review>; also : to bring to a state or an action by intimidation -- used with into <like too many Asiann armies, adept at cowing a population into feeding them -- Edward Lansdale>
synonym see
- cowed·ly javascript:popWin('/cgi-bin/audio.pl?cow00003.wav=cowedly')/'kau(-&)d-lE/ adverb" Webster online 

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