Starting in the 3rd grade, kids in the SF public schools can spend up to 7 weeks of class time preparing for and taking standardized tests! These tests are no longer "high stakes" but they do replace valuable instruction time and are not the tests used by the teacher to evaluate or teach your child.
Most teachers do not find the majority of these standardized tests to be helpful in educating your kids, because the scores don't give teachers details on what questions were missed or what skills might need more practice. Except for the reading assessments given throughout the year (which teachers use to assign books appropriate for the child's reading level), these tests are an expensive waste of time that only serve the interests of the testing companies.
Fortunately, CA state law allows parents to opt out of any standardized tests, and your school is not penalized in any way! Opt-out forms must be turned in to your school's administrators every year. Here are the forms:
Please print them out for yourself and for other parents in your classroom who are interested!
In particular, parents should consider opting ot of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Interim District Assessments (IDA) tests, which are given in the spring. Teachers don't even get the scores on these tests until the end of the year, so taking these tests is of no benefit at all to the students.
You can ask your school to provide an appropriate curriculum for your kids while the others are taking tests. If enough kids in a single grade opt out, we will have more sway to get a classroom at each grade level to continue with regular instruction!