Opting-Out

Why we refuse NYS Standardized Assessments

Opting-out is the process of refusing to participate in state and district testing programs for grades 3-8.

  * Parents can write and submit a refusal letter to refuse their children from taking the NYS Assessments grades 3-8.  
   *What is the difference between “opting out” and “refusing?” In practice, nothing.  But the official term to use in your letter is “refuse.”
   *Districts MUST accept parents’ refusal letters since it is a parent’s right to opt out of the NYS assessments.

NYS Assessments 2018/19 Summary

  • NYS is required to submit the federally required 95% participation rate number that includes all students who take ELA and math assessments. This number includes score results for all students, including those not tested.
  • There will be two indices measuring student performance; one that is submitted to the Federal government and one that is used for accountability in NYS.
  • NO, your district will not lose funding for opting out.
  • No school is solely identified because of high rates of test refusal.
  • Only schools that meet ALL six criteria will be required to create a participation rate improvement plan.
  • On either the ELA or math assessments, a subgroup at the school must:

1. Fail to meet the 95% test participation requirement in the 2017-18;
2. Fail to meet the 95% test participation requirement in the 2018-19;
3. Did not improve its participation rate between 2016-17 and 2017-18;
4. Did not improve its participation rate between 2017-18 and 2018-19;
5. Did not perform at Level 3 or 4 on the Weighted Average Achievement Index in the 2017-18 school year; AND 6. Did not perform at Level 3 or 4 on the Weighted Average Achievement Index in the 2018-19 school year.

Opt-Out FAQ

Click HERE for our “Know the Facts, Ignore the Noise” fact sheet

TEST REFUSAL & IMPACT ON SCHOOLS

TEST REFUSAL & IMPACT ON MY CHILD

HOW TO REFUSE ("Opt Out" of) THE STATE TESTS

CLICK HERE FOR ASSESSMENT TESTIMONIALS AND STORIES

CLICK HERE FOR REFUSAL RATES ON LONG ISLAND

 

How to Opt Out of State and Local Assessments

In addition to the NYS Assessments, depending on the district, there are also local standardized assessments given to our children throughout the school year.  Use the following documents to learn more about the different assessments and how to opt out of them.

TITLECONTENTFILE TYPEDOWNLOAD LINK
Refusal LetterOpt-Out Refusal letter and instructions for 2019/20PDFDownload
Refusing Computerized AssessmentsHow to refuse computerized assessments PDFDownload
Local Assessments The different types of local computer assessments used by different districts PDFDownload

Top Three Reasons Why Parents Don't Opt Out
(and our response)

Another thank you, this one to Sachem Community Alliance for Public Education  for helping us put this list together.

I want them to learn to take tests. It’s good practice for the Regents/SATs/MCATs

OUR RESPONSE

Some parents believe that standardized testing in 3rd through 8th grades is good preparation for standardized test they will face in high school and beyond. However, the NY State tests are not similar to the SAT’s or any other standardized exam. The format, content, answer choice patterns, question types and patterns, and duration are all different with different purposes for each one. Each one requires its own analysis and practice in terms of breaking down question types and answer choice patterns.

It doesn't matter, I don't really see the need to opt out

Our Response

It does matter. Refusing to take the state assessments is about a persistently calling attention to how standardized testing is tied to corporatization and privatization of public schools, narrowing curriculum that results in “teaching to the test,” and evaluating teachers based on test scores. It moves people to action and in turn, places pressure on our elected officials by demanding deeper more thoughtful whole-child education, not a one size fits all regurgitation of information.
Learn more about Corporate Reform HERE

I like to see how my kids are doing

our response

Every year we post SEVERAL examples of NYS Assessment questions that are above grade level, poorly constructed, and developmentally inappropriate. A better, more reliable way to to see how your child is doing is to check in with his/her teacher and simply ask. Weekly assessments that are created by their teachers, developmentally appropriate and used to guide instruction will also tell you how your child is doing.

What has the opt-out movement achieved?

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Reflection

Created an opportunity for reflection and reconsideration of the nation's educational testing system

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Moratorium

Moratorium (and extension) on use of these tests for APPR

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Decoupled

Decoupled high stakes exit exams (Regents exams) from graduation

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Fired

Pearson fired from creating state assessments

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Discussion

Spurred discussion by Regents to discuss what is authentic assessment and what is project based learning, a shift away from high stakes testing

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Shortened

State assessments "shortened" to two days from three

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Seated

Got parents a seat at the ESSA State Plan Task Force table

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Stopped

Stopped InBloom and created awareness of student data privacy issues

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Rid

Got rid of Tisch and Wagner (the Mengele of education reform)

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Flipped

Flipped the Board of Regents with Betty Rosa now as Chancellor

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Transparency

Made the NYS Assembly process for appointing the BOE more transparent-- Now they video the interviews and Assembly members actually watch or go to the interview

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Leadership

Many of us have emerged as leaders to either run for public office or our local school boards

Refuse the Test

Download 2020 Refusal Letter

Refuse the Test

Download 2020 Refusal Letter

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