Saturday, May 3, 2014

Low Entry Giveaways Ending Tonight, Sunday 5/4

WWE Extreme Rules Viewing Pack - U.S. - gaynycdad

Spy Gear – Sonic Distractors - Spinmaster toys - U.S. - gaynycdad

Little House On The Prairie – Season Two Deluxe Remastered Edition - U.S. - gaynycdad

2 Skylanders Swapable Characters & 1 Skylanders Swap Force Character - U.S. - gaynycdad

Jungle Speed by Asmodee - game - U.S. - gaynycdad

SpongeBob, You’re Fired! DVD - U.S. - gaynycdad

One winner will receive Summer Sky Organics Rosehip and Argan Facial Oil, and the other will receive the Baby All Over Balm (2 winners) - US/CAN - Does Mommy Love It

Puritan's Pride Mother's Day Package (ARV $85) - U.S. - Dividing by Zero *GT

Scott's Miracle Grow Prize Pack (Gro-ables seed pods, Steel watering can, Decorative Herb Plant Labels, and Gardening Gloves) - U.S. - Makobi Scribe *GT

Four Mother's Day books (@9pm CST) -U.S. - Manda Blogs About... *GT

100th Monkey Mushrooms Kit - U.S. - Cherry Blossoms *RC

Bag of Ruby Moon laundry wash - U.S. - Midwest Cornfed Mom *RC 

Giveaways With Over 200 Entries, but under 500:

Six (6) coupons for Free Kidfresh meals - U.S. - Airplanes and Dragonflies *RC

$10 Target Gift Card - U.S. - gaynycdad

$10 Kmart Gift Card - U.S. - gaynycdad

$25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card - U.S. - gaynycdad

XBOX Live 1 Year Membership ($60 Value) - U.S. - gaynycdad

$25 Build-A-Bear Gift Card - U.S. - gaynycdad

"Quincy & Buck" E-book - U.S. - Chat With Vera *RC

Talking Shirt prize pack (one adult shirt + one kids shirt) - U.S. - The Simple Moms *RC

Two TrueLipids products of their choice (up to $100) - U.S. - mom knows best *RC

Full line of SeabuckWonders skin care products - U.S. - Two Savvy Sisters *RC

Classic Tango Solid Perfume & Ayurvedic Herb Shampoo Bar - U.S. - Herbolition Natural Body Care *FB *RC

The Greek Yogurt Kitchen Cookbook Review and Giveaway! (U.S.) Ends 5/18 (Rafflecopter)

Greek yogurt is no longer just for breakfast or that 3 PM snack. With THE GREEK YOGURT KITCHEN: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day, nutritionist Toby Amidor takes Greek yogurt and elevates it from a pigeonholed breakfast food to an extraordinary, all-purpose ingredient.

The cookbook is a healthy, scrumptious, kid-friendly meal manual that no kitchen should do without.
Amidor showcases the multiple health benefits of Greek yogurt (ranging from improving heart health to lowering high blood pressure), gives readers a crash course in Greek yogurt 101 — from making your own Greek yogurt to tips on what to look for when buying— and the versatility of Greek yogurt. Wholesome, delicious, and adaptable, THE GREEK YOGURT KITCHEN includes Greek yogurt in an array of family recipe staples, sweet tooth favorites, and kitchen classics that will satisfy every palate including:

  • Whole Grain Banana-chocolate Chip Pancakes
  • Smoked Salmon Torte
  • Wasabi Sesame Dip
  • Avocado Soup with Pineapple Salsa
  • Quinoa Burgers
  • Rice Pudding with Drunken Cherry Sauce
  • Lemon-Blueberry Stuffed French Toast
  • Kicked Up Cheddar-Potato Casserole
  • Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
  • Spinach Macaroni Bake
  • Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

With over 130 recipes, home chefs will never lack for a simple, mouth-watering meal idea be it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or beyond.

Lemon-Blueberry Stuffed French Toast 

Cooking spray
1 cup nonfat milk
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ loaf challah bread, preferably whole wheat
1 ¼ cups fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed if frozen)
¼ cup nonfat lemon Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray.
Heat it on the stove over medium-low heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
Cut the challah into eight ½-inch-thick slices.
Submerge half the slices in the egg mixture, being sure to moisten both sides.
Then place soaked slices on the heated skillet and cook until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
Flip and cook on the other side until browned, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the skillet and keep warm.
Spray skillet with cooking spray and repeat with the remaining challah slices.
To make the filling, mash the blueberries and lemon yogurt together in a small bowl.
To assemble each stuffed French toast, place 1 piece of French toast on a plate.
Spread ¼ cup of the lemon-blueberry mixture over the bread. Top with another piece of French toast, and slice in half.
Just before serving, sprinkle the confectioners’ sugar evenly over the stuffed French toast.

SERVING SIZE: 1 stuffed French toast
NUTRITION INFORMATION (PER SERVING): Calories: 379; Total Fat: 9 grams; Saturated Fat: 3 grams; Protein: 19 grams; Total Carbohydrates: 53 grams; Sugars: 19 grams; Fiber: 6 grams; Cholesterol: 232 milligrams; Sodium: 438 milligrams

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN is the founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition, where she provides nutrition and food safety consulting services. She is a nutrition expert for, writing for their Healthy Eats Blog, a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report’s Eat + Run blog, and an adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Toby trained as a clinical dietitian at New York University. Her expertise includes over 14 years of experience in various areas of food and nutrition. Through ongoing consulting and faculty positions, she has established herself as one of the top experts in culinary nutrition, food safety, and media.

The Greek Yogurt Kitchen will be for Sale on May 6, 2014!

Connect with Toby online:
Like Toby Amidor Nutrition on Facebook.
Follow Toby Amidor on Twitter.
Follow Toby Amidor on Pintrest.

Visit Grand Central Publishing:
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Enter below using the Rafflecopter for for a chance to win your own soft-cover copy of THE GREEK YOGURT KITCHEN: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day, cookbook. Giveaway is open to residents who live in the main 48 continental United States only

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Disclosure: I received a copy of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen cookbook in exchange for my review
and giveaway post. No other compensation was exchanged or received.

Daddy & Company - Scrubba Dub Dub with Daddy Duck & Rubber Duck Gift Set Review and Giveaway! (U.S.) Ends 5/18 (Rafflecopter)

We had a change to review the Scrubba Dub Dub with Daddy Duck & Rubber Duck Gift Set from Daddy & Company! My twenty two month old daughter loves the duck bath book and rubber duck! The duck actually stays afloat and doesn't tip over in the bathtub! This gift set is perfect for any infant or toddler for the bathtub, or to play with outside this summer, in the kiddie pool! The bath book is soft and easy to use for little hands.

The Scrubba Dub Dub with Daddy Duck & Rubber Duck Gift would be a perfect gift for any baby shower or Man shower, which seems to be the newest thing lately!

Hailey enjoys playing with the book and duck inside and outside of the bathtub. I couldn't get a decent photo of her playing with them while taking a bath, so above is what I got!

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Use the code GIFTSFORDAD or PAM14 (Through 5/31) to receive 15% off your total order! Or if that doesn't work, try code BLOG14 for 10% off your total order.

Buy a Scrubba Dub Dub with Daddy Duck & Rubber Duck Gift Set from Daddy & Company for your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews today! Daddy & Company has many great gift options for new fathers and current fathers too for Father's Day! It's coming up soon on June 15th!

Or enter to win a Scrubba Dub Dub with Daddy Duck & Rubber Duck Gift Set from Daddy & Company here on my blog using the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway open to residents who live in the 48 main continental United States only, sorry. 

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Disclosure: I received a Scrubba Dub Dub with Daddy Duck & Rubber Duck Gift Set from Daddy & Company. No other compensation was exchanged or received.

Daddy & Company - Daddy's Disposable Diaper Changing Pads Review and #Giveaway! (U.S.) Ends 5/18 (Rafflecopter)

I love Daddy & Company products! My family have really enjoyed their Bag O' Books, Toddler tees, and Men's Pajama Pants! Now we've had a chance to review their Daddy Disposable Diaper Changing Pads! My husband and I both love these! As the Daddy's Disposable Diaper Changing Pads are so easy to keep inside of the diaper bag and on our night stand next to the bed to change our twenty one month old daughter's diapers. I keep a few inside the diaper bag for those times when there are no disposable changing pads available to use when we are out and about, which is quite often.

My daughter Hailey also loves them! They don't feel like paper at all, they are soft. They aren't slippery at all on the bottom side, and they are long enough to go under her little body from her head to about her knees. They are also wide enough to cover the whole changing table at one of my favorite restaurants that serves healthy chicken nuggets, sandwiches, and other awesome meals with chicken. The designs on them are super cute too! Hailey kept saying "drum, horse, and baby." This was before I changed her diaper!

“Like” Daddy & Company on Facebook.

Follow Daddy & Company on Twitter.

Follow Daddy & Company on Pinterest.

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Subscribe to our YouTube.

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Subscribe to the Daily Daddy Blog.

Use the code GIFTSFORDAD or PAM14 (Through 5/31) to receive 15% off your total order! Or if that doesn't work, try code BLOG14 for 10% off your total order.

Buy some Disposable Diaper Changing Pads ($7.95 ARV) , or other products from Daddy & Company today for your husband, son, or grandson from Daddy & Company.

Or enter to win a pack here on my blog using the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway open to residents who live in the 48 main continental United States only, sorry. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a package of Disposable Diaper Changing Pads from Daddy & Company. No other compensation was exchanged or received.

SAT-10 Tests and TCAPS. #StopCommonCore

I sent a copy of my opt out letter to my son's teacher, edited just for her. Then I took a copy to the principal. But after talking things over with my husband, we decided to let our son go and take the tests anyways. I still feel that he should have stayed home. I wouldn't have cared if he missed 5 days of school for the testing. He has only missed 5 days of school so far this year, so 5 more days wouldn't have mattered.

The schools have been making the testing nice for the kids. They have been giving them candy, letting them play outside for up to 2 hours or more a day, and more. I had a friend of mine's 3rd grader tell her mom that she would love to do testing everyday because it's so much fun!

But, my son came home from school yesterday in a strange mood, which is unusual for him. When I went to put his pajamas on last night, he fought me. So I had to grab his hand and take him to my bedroom where his pajamas were at. When I got him in my room, he sat down on the floor and cried and complained of not having snack time. He told me that him and his friends were really hungry and that they didn't get snack time. I told him that I was sorry that happened to him and his friends, and that I would talk to his teacher about it.

When I emailed his teacher and told him that, I found out that my son had been put into a different classroom with only a few of his friends and some other kids in the school that have a special needs IEP for the tests. So he was in a classroom with a teacher or person that he didn't know. He has major issues with change and he has OCD. So he likes routines, and when anyone changes that routine, it upsets him. When my son came back into the classroom, it was around 8:15am, and he was asked if he wanted to have his snacks or go to centers. My son decided to go do centers instead. So it was his own choice to skip his snacks. I don't think that he realized that he was hungry. Poor guy.

But to remedy him being upset last night, I told him that before he left for school this morning, that he could have his snacks after breakfast, and that worked really well and when he left, he was really happy. I made sure he still had snacks in his backpack too. But that extra sugar punch is probably what he needed yesterday after sitting and being quiet for so long, but he didn't realize it. I mean, when it's snack time, and testing, make the kids eat their snacks, period. Don't offer them to do something different!

So it's up to you, as a parent, and protector of your children. Do you send your kids to school to take these tests? I know that some kids aren't taking them for a few more weeks, or until June in some states. Some of the teachers some of them are being not so nice to the kids and telling them that they have to pass these tests in order to go onto the next grade, which IS NOT true! It can count for up to 20% of children's grades, which for some kids, is a drop in the bucket, and really not a big deal. But it can drop an A student down to a B student at report card time, and so on. So a child getting C's, D's, or F's, they might want to take the TCAPS. But know, that the SAT10 tests usually do not affect your children's grades at all! Just ask the principal, most of them will tell you the truth, if you just ask. I know it's scary, and that your afraid, don't be. Speak up, because if you don't speak up now, who else is going to? If you do speak up, and tell others about your experiences, you are helping to empower them and give them the much needed courage to do the same.

What if we all spoke up, and opted our children out of the SAT-10 tests and TCAPS? What if there were no children in schools on the testing days? Could you imagine the attention that we could draw to CCSS and to people in other states, like California, who have NO clue what they are about to get themselves and their children into?

The letter does work, as long as it's in writing, they should honor it. It's scary to do. Make sure you talk to your husband about it first. My husband stated that it's nice for the kids to have the practice when they are younger, so that when they do get to the TCAPS, they aren't anxious, and they know what to expect, and what is expected from them.

We, as parents, need to do what we feel is right for our children, even if it means standing up for what we believe and feel inside. But when you have a husband who doesn't feel the same way that you do, sometimes, it's not so easy. But I am breaking him down! Someday, I am hoping that he might see my side of things, and understand that not everything about the Common Core is so great, and that we need to help change it.

Is it ok for children to write notes like this in class? What if your child did so? What would you think? Would you tell her that it's only temporary? Would you opt her out? What would you do? This is how many of our children feel!

I also heard from a teacher, who said that "Other counties have opted out and were hoping that our county will catch on to how inappropriate it is to test 5 and 6 year olds for over 2 hours! Parents have to call and write state and county representatives because when we as teachers speak up, it's viewed as complaining."

She also thanked me for my blog posts about writing the letter to our schools and fighting the testing. It's not ok to test children like this, no matter how old they are. 5 and 6 year olds are too little to have to sit still for over 2 hours and answer question after question, half of the questions are about topics that they haven't even studied yet. Why in the world would you test a child in kindergarten about stuff he doesn't know about yet? I can tell you, in the two days that my son has taken the SAT10 tests, he seems changed. I know that it's not just me, something in him has changed. I hope that he doesn't lose his trust in me for not protecting him against this, because I told him that I would try to keep him from taking them, and because of his father, my husband, I failed to do so.

BUT, I will keep fighting, keep emailing, keep writing letters, keep sending letters to the district, principals, state and county reps, etc. We need to fight this for our teachers, but especially, for our children, YOUR children, and grandchildren.

Discount Codes In My Inbox!

Put Me in The Story
20% off code - SPRING (expires 5/7)

I See Me (personalized children's products)
10% off code - mail10bvn8jhvz (expires 5/16/2014)
10% off code - SPACE10 (expires 5/30)

Loveless Cafe
25% off code - SWEET14

Daddy & Company
15% off code - GIFTSFORDAD or PAM14 (Through 5/31)

Winners of Six Giveaways Are:

Congrats to everyone! Sorry some of these giveaways ended a few weeks ago.

Winner of the Mayapple Baby Teethers is: 
Teresa Thompson!

Winner of the Two pairs of Heat Holders Socks is: 
Annmarie Weeks!

Winner of the Laurie Berkner Band Lullabies CD is: 
Amy Bolich!

Winners of the Comforts For Baby Gift Sets are:
Lindsey Doepker
Sherri Sav!

Winner of the Put Me in the Story book is:

Winner of the Bunnies & Kitties book is:
DS Owen!

Winners will have until Monday morning, 5/5, to email me back, or new winners will be chosen!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Low Entry Giveaways Ending Tonight, Friday 5/2

ZooGoo Leather Tablet Case - U.S. - Makobi Scribe *GT

VTech Gift Pack (with the Disney Planes and Bubble Guppy software cartridges and a Go! Go! Smart Wheels Vehicle) - US/CAN - Makobi Scribe *GT

Three month subscription to Netflix - U.S. - Making Time For Mommy

"Retrashed" E-book/Digital copy (5 winners) - Worldwide - The ReFab Diaries *RC

Three Mother's Day books - U.S. - Celebrate Every Day With Me

Belitae FRESH-C Vitamin C Serum - U.S. - Networking Witches *RC

16oz. Custom Engraved Pilsner Glass From All Occasions & More - U.S. - Networking Witches *RC 

Giveaways With Over 200 Entries, but under 500:

Coupon to try Purex Crystals Dryer Sheets (3 winners) (@10am CST) - U.S. - Carter Chaos *GT

One month supply of Harvest Snaps offers six different flavors (@5pm CST) - U.S. - The NapTime Reviewer *GT

Pair of SWYT Culture Womens or Toddlers Shoes (2 winners) (@10pm CST) - U.S. - From Downriver to Downright Country *GT

doTERRA Essential Oil Intro Kit - US/CAN - Plum Crazy Life *RC

Halo, Purely for Pets food - U.S. - Giveaway Bandit *GT

Box of BabyBar Teething Bars, Bag of Cocomo Caramel Corn, and a Bag of Chocolate Milk Granola - McMama Says *RC

Coupon for Purex No Sort colors laundry soap (3 winners) - U.S. - The Harried Mom *RC

Kair Bath Visor - U.S. - Reviews by Kelly *RC

Amazing Spiderman 2 Prize Pack (t-shirt, paper mask and phone case) and a Special edition: The Amazing Spiderman 2 Family Discussion Guide (electronic) - U.S. - Parsimonious Pash *RC

Smart Money, Smart Kids - book (5/3 @7am CST) - U.S. - *GT

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Low Entry Giveaways Ending Tonight, Thursday 5/1

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return Prize Pack ($25 Visa GC, Temporary Tattoos, and Reusable Sticker Sheets) - U.S. - Lille Punkin

Case of Pirate’s Booty snacks (12 full-size bags) - U.S. - Making Time for Mom

$50 WinCo GC - U.S. - a Mom with a Lesson Plan *RC

One Blouse/Top/T-shirt of your choice from Ahaishopping - Worldwide - Let's Doll Up

Splash Cards game - U.S. - Hanging Off The Wire *RC

My Name is Paul DVD - U.S. - The Simple Moms *RC 

Giveaways With Over 200 Entries, but under 500:

Mamadukes All Natural Care Bath Salts and Two Lip Balms (@10pm CST) - U.S. - From Downriver to Downright Country *GT

Three months of Netflix - U.S. - Underwear in our Kitchen *RC

Buxton Horseshoe Lock Tote in Olive - U.S. - Makobi Scribe *GT

BaubleBar Rabbit Ring Tree - U.S. - Mimi & Chichi *RC

Sticky9 Classic Instagram magnets - U.S. - The Simple Moms *RC

Guillow’s Gliders Prize Pack that includes the Sky Raider, Delta Dart, Space Shuttle, Eagle Balsa Glider, Jetfire Balsa Glider, Sky Streak, and Jetstream kits - U.S. - The Simple Moms *RC

10 Card Pack and a Special Prize from Hallmark (3 winners) - U.S. - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom *RC

My Story: Daniel and My Story: Noah books - U.S. - Satisfaction Through Christ *RC

Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew coffee maker and a bag of Millstone coffee - U.S. - Frugal Family Tree *RC

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Follow Up Post To My "TCAPS and SAT-10 Refusal Letter #StopCommonCore" Post

I sent a copy of the letter to my son's kindergarten teacher, who was not in school today, for some reason, but she will get it tomorrow. I was wondering why she hadn't called or emailed me today.

I then took a copy of my letter, that I changed up a little, to the school principal. She happened to walk into the school office as I walked it. I turned bright red, and I was in tears when I gave it to her. But I told her that I was refusing to let my son take the SAT-10 tests. She said that she understood, and that it was ok for me to call the school around 9:30a.m. to see if the kindergarten was done testing, or to find out a time when they would be done so that I could bring my son to school to participate in other activities at school.

Well, it turns out that she was wrong, she didn't know that. Even if I do send my son to school around say, 10:00a.m., they will take my son and make him take the tests when he returns to school. Then they have a make up test day on Wednesday, May 7th, and if I send my son to school on that day, they will make him take or complete 4 to 5 hours or tests on that day! She said that it would be best to keep him home for all 4 days of testing, and the one make up day too. As long as your child is in the school, they will test them.

I did ask if there were other parents who came in to try to Opt their children out of the testing, and she said yes, that there were. Then she said that she handed them the letter below from the school district, and the parents said "ok," and walked out. They didn't bring anything into the school with reasons as to why they didn't want their children to take the tests. These parents didn't bring actual information with the state laws behind them. BUT I DID! Always put it in writing!

There is NO current LAW stating that your children have to take these tests, in ANY State in the U.S.!

Here's a link to my earlier post:

TCAPS and SAT-10 Refusal Letter #StopCommonCore

With TCAPS for 3rd through 8th graders, and SAT-10 testing for Kindergarten through 2nd graders, it's time to take a stand against all of this testing and the Common Core. I don't like the CCSS standards. I don't like that Tennessee is now calling in the TN Core. That's not what it is, it's all the same standards as CCSS, just with a new flashy name. Anything to make you think that they've changed it, and they haven't.

We need to Refuse (Opt-Out) of any and all tests that our children take in schools to send a loud message to our governors, senators, to congress, but most of all to our President. Yes, CCSS IS federally funded and controlled, no matter what anyone tells you.

So, today, off my 6 1/2 year old son went with a letter to his kindergarten teacher to REFUSE for him to take the SAT-10 tests that start tomorrow (Thursday, Friday, then again on Monday and Tuesday next week). I talked to my son about it, and he doesn't want to take them. What I didn't know, is that since January, the kids have been having what they call "Island time." Each parent sent in a beach towel or a normal towel for their kids to sit on on the "Island," and while the kids are sitting there, they are doing some sort of test prep. I don't know if they are reading books, looking at practice tests, or what exactly. My son said that some times they would just read books, and sometimes do different things. He's only six years old, so the information from him isn't always clear. The kids are only being taught the information that is on the SAT-10 tests, and they have been doing it since after Christmas, without my knowledge! This is not ok! What about learning other things? Isn't that important? It seems all the kids do these days, including in the upper grades, is to learn about and study what is on the SAT-10 tests and TCAPS.

My son has an IEP for his fine motor skills, which will be on his permanent record because of the data collection that goes on with the testing and standards. If you think that information about your children and family isn't in a big data base because of tests and surveys that your children have been filling out in school the past few years, then your wrong. Because it is! Your children have answered personal questions about his family and home life on surveys that are given to YOUR kids, without Your knowledge!

Pep Rally's for taking the TCAP, using the "Let It Go" song from Frozen to get kids excited about taking these tests, having reward parties with ice cream after it's all over, kids throwing up and stressing out because they are being told that if they don't pass these tests, that they can't move onto the next grade, by the teachers who are supposed to be caring about Your kids, is NOT ok!

There are currently NO Laws in the United States or individual states saying that your children, our children, have to take these tests.

Below is a copy of the letter I sent, it is fixed so that you too can copy and paste it to Microsoft Word or a similar program, edit it to fit your needs, and take a copy down to the principal of your school, ASAP. If your school is testing right now, or if they plan to test the children tomorrow, next week or the week after, send in a copy of the letter below, and if you want, make one copy for the teacher, and a second copy for the principal, like I did.

Refuse Letter:

April 30th, 2014

Dear To Whom This Concerns,

Please accept this letter as record of my decision to refuse for my child, YOUR CHILD’S NAME, to participate in TEST NAME at NAME OF SCHOOL Elementary School in CITY, TN on May 1, 2, 5, and 6, 2014. (Change testing dates if you need to, and delete this sentence.)

Since STATE NAME does not have an established procedure for opting out of the new myriad of standardized testing that Common Core is promoting, I am flat out refusing to allow my child, YOUR CHILD’S NAME, to participate the (TEST NAME) SAT10 or TCAP, I also refuse NAME OF SCHOOL Elementary School or the Hamilton County BOE permission to circumvent my wishes by administering any of these tests online or in any digital format. If that means that my child will no longer be allowed access to the computers in their classrooms, then so be it. As an active parent, I would like to be provided with a comprehensive schedule of ALL testing and pre-testing, so that I may stay informed on the school day’s activities. 

My refusal to participate in state Standardized tests is because I believe standardized high stakes testing take away time from the instructional experiences my child might otherwise receive. I want more teaching and learning, and less testing! The state seems to believe that my child is obligated to participate in testing because the state or the policy makers demand it, when in fact the social contract of public schooling is grounded on the premise that the state and policy makers are obligated to the needs of children. I am aware that there is no “opt out” clause in the state of Tennessee. But the state has yet to provide any legal documentation that my child may not exercise his or her right to refuse the tests. 

For the state of Tennessee only: (Every state has similar laws, you can find them if you research it online. Please delete this paragraph if you don’t live in Tennessee.)
Below is information about the Tennessee Compilation of Selected Laws on Children, Youth, and Families, 2011 Edition: Tennessee Code Annotated:
Title 34 Guardianship
Chapter 1 Guardianships and Conservatorships Generally 34-1-102. Parents as joint and equal natural guardians of minors - Custody of minors - Support of minors over eighteen (18) years of age in high school - Property of minor - Incapacity of parents - Divorce - Commitment of guardianship to county - Guardianship instrument.
(a) Parents are the joint natural guardians of their minor children, and are equally and jointly charged with their care, nurture, welfare, education and support and also with the care, management and expenditure of their estates. Each parent has equal powers, rights and duties with respect to the custody of each of their minor children and the control of the services and earnings of each minor child; provided, that so much of the net income of each minor child as may be necessary may be expended by a parent (without the necessity of court authorization) for the child's care, maintenance and education. Funds of a minor held by a guardian shall not be expended to relieve or minimize the obligation of the parent or parents to support the minor. Acts 1992, ch. 794, § 3; 1996, ch. 1079, § 67; T.C.A. § 34-11-102.

According to the U.S Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment, parental rights are broadly protected by Supreme Court decisions (Meyer and Pierce), especially in the area of education. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that parents possess the “fundamental right” to “direct the upbringing and education of their children.” Furthermore, the Court declared that “the child is not the mere creature of the State: those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right coupled with the high duty to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” (Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-35) The Supreme Court criticized a state legislature for trying to interfere “with the power of parents to control the education of their own.” (Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 402.) In Meyer, the Supreme Court held that the right of parents to raise their children free from unreasonable state interferences is one of the unwritten “liberties” protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. (262 U.S. 399). In recognition of both the right and responsibility of parents to control their children’s education, the Court has stated, “It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for the obligations the State can neither supply nor hinder.” (Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158). 

I understand that it is state and local policy to require all students to be evaluated for proficiency in various subject areas at each grade level. However, I believe that testing is not synonymous with standardized testing and request that the school and my child’s teacher(s) evaluate his or her progress using alternative (and more meaningful) measures including: project-based assignments, teacher-made tests, portfolios, and performance-based assessments, to be determined at the discretion of the teachers and myself together.

CHILD'S NAME is prepared to come to school every day during the testing window with alternative meaningful self-directed learning activities that support the essential curriculum, or is willing to participate in other meaningful activities as determined by the school or his or her teachers during testing times. It is my child’s right as a public school student to receive instruction daily, and if you do not do so, I will file a discrimination report with the district and consult an attorney. I am a taxpayer, and you do not have the authority to bar my child from accessing this public good of which I contribute in the form of tax payment. I will call the police if you attempt to bar my child from entering the building. However, should you prove to me in writing that this last alternative is legally REQUIRED, then I respectfully request to both see that policy as stated IN WRITING so that I may show it to my attorney, and I require WRITTEN documentation that my child and his parents WILL NOT be punished for ‘delinquency’ – and that we are EXEMPT from the usual (SCHOOL NAME Elementary School/COUNTY, TN) attendance policies. 

I have a tremendous respect for my child’s teachers and his school. You all do a tremendous job and I wish to continue to send my son to a school where he looks forward to participating every day. My school’s teachers and administrators understand that this action is no way a reflection of my feelings towards them nor is it intended as an attack toward them or the great work that they do every day. My issue is with high stakes standardized testing and the harm it does to children and our public schools. I believe we can work constructively together to ensure that my child will not be negatively affected in any way, and that successful alternatives that are neither punitive nor require further legal complications are indeed possible. 

If you need me, you may call me at (Area Code) YOUR PHONE NUMBER. A copy of this letter has also been emailed to you, so you have my email address there as well.

Thank you.

Respectfully yours,

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Feel free to share this with your friends and family, and anyone else who wants to take a stand with me and Opt their child out of these tests that don't in any way measure what our children have learned.

A few Facebook Group pages for you to join if you would like to learn more about Common Core:

If your in Tennessee:

You can look up your state and put in testing or common core, and local groups in your area with parents that you probably know, will show up on Facebook or any search engine.

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