Your child can refuse PARCC testing. Although the IL State Board of Education does not recognize parental right to opt children out of testing, they have instructed districts that they can develop a policy for those students who refuse testing.
Federal law requires all public schools in the United States to administer annual testing in reading and math to 3-8th grade and one year of high school. However, it does not say that every child, against their and their families wishes, must participate in the testing.
We recommend parents inform their children’s school of the following via letter:
My child will be refusing all PARCC testing. I expect school officials and employees to treat my child with kindness and respect and allow them to engage in alternative quiet activities during the test. Please let me know what arrangements you are making for my child and others who refuse PARCC.
Below are materials you may find useful for yourself and sharing with others during the testing window. [Although we have not updated these for the 2016-2017 school year, there have been no changes in state law or ISBE policy since spring 2016, so almost everything here can be reused for this year. We do recommend that you check Raise Your Hand’s Testing Toolkit for 2017 specific materials and news.]
- Refusal/opt out letter for anywhere in Illinois
- CPS specific opt out/refusal letter in English, Spanish and Chinese
- PARCC opt out factsheet in English, Spanish and Chinese
- Universal flyer for all IL students, all IL schools about PARCC refusal (4-sheet)
- Myths and Facts about PARCC in Illinois (comprehensive guide to question of funding loss and more). En español: Mitos y hechos sobre PARCC en Illinois
- Printable written refusal cards for CPS students (7 per sheet): CPS told schools on 3.23.2016 that students could refuse in writing or verbally.
- Printable stickers that children who are unlikely to be able to refuse verbally can wear to alert school officials
- Administrator’s Pledge on Ethical Treatment of Students Who Opt Out
- BOYCOTT PARCC flyer (2-sheet): Opt out and demand resources!
We are happy to give support and advice to anyone running into difficulties with PARCC refusal.
Expecting children to refuse high-stakes standardized testing themselves and ignoring parent/guardian wishes on this matter is wrong. We need an opt out law in Illinois. Learn more here about HB 306 the Opt Out Bill and call your state rep and senator to demand that they support it.
More resources on PARCC and refusal:
Let’s Talk Testing on CAN TV (March 2016)
Drummond LSC letter on PARCC and opt out
United Opt Out Get Tough Guide
Student refusal card (9-per sheet pdf for printing)
ISBE documentation of not testing code for Student Refusal
ISBE Non-Regulatory Guidance on the use of Code 15 in Student Assessments
MTAS statement on misinformation from ISBE (Fall 2014)
Your child CAN choose to refuse PARCC
PARCC: What parents need to know
Ten Reasons to Refuse the PARCC test from Park the PARCC Evanston
Sample PARCC tests: Go to “Test Preparation” -> “Sample Tests”
Park the PARCC petition requesting that IL State Board of Education seek a waiver from the US Department of Education
Park the PARCC position paper (pdf in English and in Spanish)
What you need to know about PARCC (English and Spanish)
How and Why to Park the PARCC webinar recording (Powerpoint slides)
Evanston Township board meeting. Discussion of problems with PARCC administration for high schools beginning at minute 47.
Public letter from 30 Illinois school districts opposing 2015 administration of the PARCC (2.3.2014)
Letter from 42 Illinois school districts asking for a delay in PARCC administration (1.30.2015)