Connecticut Department of Education Says No to Opting Out of Assessments

Connecticut has received a number of parental opt-out requests from assessments. Steve Martin, an education consultant with the Connecticut State Department of Education last month wrote a two page primer on the “background, history and suggested protocols for addressing parent requests for students to ‘opt-out’ of mandated state testing.”

The Department is tells local education agencies fielding these requests no. From the document:

There is no opt-out language in state or federal law governing assessment. Sec.10-14n of the Connecticut Education Laws states that “Each student enrolled…in any public school shall annually take a statewide mastery examination.”

They state the only students allowed to opt-out are:

Public-school students who are deemed “Medically Exempt” are not required to take the statewide exams. Districts/families follow a rigorous process for medical exemption.
Public-school students who are placed at an out-of-state educational facility. It is possible to test such students, but the district would need to send a certified staff member across state lines (or bring the students back to the home school) for the entire battery of tests in order to administer the test. The state does not allow out-of-state school staff to administer our in-state test at this point.
They also provide a sample letter that local education agencies can send. This is something that the Connecticut Legislature will need to remedy forthwith.