More than a Score responds to ISBE’s misinformation regarding PARCC and opt-out

Illinois Raise Your Hand

Statement from More than a Score-

Recently, the Superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) distributed inaccurate information about a student’s ability to opt-out of state tests. In the “Weekly Message” dated 10/28/2014 from Chris Koch on the ISBE website it is stated that  “students may not opt out of the PARCC assessment,” and that “a district that allows students to opt out of the state’s required test would directly violate both federal and state law.”

The law regarding students’ refusing state mandated accountability testing has not changed since last year. State and federal law say that schools must administer these tests, but not that children must take them.

Federal law (NCLB) requires states receiving Title I funds to create a statewide assessment that “provides for the participation in such assessments of all students”. State law, created to comply with NCLB, is that “the State Board of Education shall annually assess all students enrolled in grades 3 through 8 in English language arts and mathematics.” So, these are duties for the government to perform.

They are not obligations for action by the students. Additionally, ISBE acknowledges in many places that children may refuse testing. ISBE general counsel conceded that students cannot be compelled to take these exams.

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