State Tests – Opting out resources

I’ve gotten a few emails asking for info about opting out from State Tests.
Here are a couple of links, including a form letter you can copy for opting out:

A few key excerpts:

What should a principal do if parents express an interest in opting their children out of the State 
The principal should offer to meet with the parents to discuss their concerns. The principal may want to explain that a student’s test scores will be only one of a number of factors that evaluate his or her progress and describe the impacts of opting out of the State exams (as detailed in this School Guide and in the corresponding Parent Guide). If, after consulting with the principal, the parents still want to opt their child out of the exams, the principal should respect the parents’ decision and let them know that the school will work to the best of their ability to provide the child with an alternate educational activity (e.g., reading) during testing times.


What happens after test administration if a student refuses to participate in State testing? 
Students who do not participate will not receive a score, similar to students who were present for the exam but did not respond to any questions or for students whose exams were invalidated as a result of an administrative error.

For promotion decisions: Promotion portfolio assessments will be prepared based on specified exercises that assess students’ proficiency. Results will be reviewed by the teacher, principal and then by the superintendent, who makes a final determination based upon standard benchmarks. Students who achieve proficiency based on the portfolio assessment will be promoted. Some students with IEPs and some English Language Learners have different promotion standards based on their needs, as described here.

For State and federal school accountability: Under State and federal accountability rules, the State measures each school’s rate of participation in State tests. Regardless of the reason (i.e., absence or refusal), if less than 95% of a school’s students or of one or more of its subgroups of students (e.g., students with disabilities) take the math or ELA assessments, the school does not make “Adequate Yearly Progress” (AYP). Not making AYP has impacts on a school’s state and federal accountability status that may affect its level of support and intervention. Please note that all intervention decisions are based on intensive review of many factors; no intervention would ever be made solely on the basis of the State test participation rate.

I hope this helps! I’ll be with you next year.