Many families are being told that they can’t opt out of PARCC. In fact, all students can refuse PARCC testing. Parents should notify their school in writing that their child is refusing the test and they expect their child to be treated with kindness and respect. This means that children who are refusing testing should be allowed to do another activity (reading, writing, drawing) in another location outside the testing room and should face no negative repercussions for refusing.
Here are two refusal notification letters you may wish to use:
- CPS specific opt out/refusal letter (in English and Spanish)
- Refusal/opt out letter for anywhere in Illinois
Although the IL State Board of Education has said that “Opting out is not an option,” they have also said districts “can develop a policy for those students who refuse to take assessments on testing days.” Many districts are providing exactly the type of policy described above. If your district is not, we recommend working together with other parents in your district to demand that they do.
Though some states do have opt out laws or regulations or broadly allow opt out in practice, Illinois does not. As a result, parents are not permitted to refuse the test on behalf of their children; special needs children, children with anxiety and children as young as 8 are expected to refuse the test themselves. This is one of the reasons why we are working to get an opt out bill passed in IL, HB306. We need your help; please call your state representative and senator and tell them to support HB306 so that there is a clear and humane policy for families that don’t want their children to take PARCC or other state-mandated assessments.
Questions? call (413)-3OPT-OUT or email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @MTAS_chicago.