State mandated testing opt-out guidance
All principals and assistant principals | Deadline: March 15
All school leaders need to understand the State policy regarding parents/guardians requesting not to have their child participate in state mandated assessments, specifically PARCC. According to the Maryland State Department of Education,
“Regarding opting out of state mandated testing, neither COMAR or the Education Article of the Maryland Code include any provision that would provide legal authority for parents to opt their children out of statewide assessments such as HSA, MSA or PARCC".
If a parent requests that their child be “opted out” of PARCC testing, principals should take the following actions:
· 1st Action: An email or letter should be sent from the school to the parent to notify them that opting out of the test is not an option. Sample language is attached for principals to use in drafting the communication. If a parent continues to refuse their child’s participation in the test, the principal should notify their ILED and the ILED should take the second action, which includes:
· 2nd Action: A follow-up letter should be sent from the district to the parent explaining the principal’s correspondence and to reiterate there are no provisions for opting out. ILEDs will use the letter template provided and need to make sure a copy of the communication is included in the student’s cumulative record.
For questions, please email Carol Wilson in the Achievement and Accountability Office or call 410-396-8962.View other items in the March 3, 2016, Leadership Action Update