“OPTING OUT” OF STATE TESTING
Southwest Preparatory School District fully respects and acknowledges that some parents may not want their children to participate in standardized tests, such as the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or “STAAR” exam. We have also had many parents submit letters seeking to “opt out” of taking STAAR assessments. For the reasons outlined below, Southwest Preparatory School District is unable to honor these parent requests.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does a parent have the right to “opt-out” his/her child from STAAR testing?
No. The Texas Education Code makes clear that parents and students are unable to opt out of standardized tests or other state-issued assessments. For instance, Texas Education Code § 26.010 provides that a parent “is not entitled to remove the parent’s child from a class or other school activity to avoid a test” and that students cannot be exempt from “satisfying grade level or graduation requirements” set by the state or a local school system.
Moreover, Texas Education Code § 39.023 requires all students in designated grade levels to take the STAAR exam and any applicable End-of-Course assessments. As a result, Southwest Preparatory School District is unable to honor parent requests to opt a child out of participating in the STAAR exam or other state assessments.
What if my child misses school on a scheduled testing day?
Students who are absent on a scheduled testing date will be asked to sit for the assessment on scheduled make-up dates. The State of Texas requires schools to offer multiple opportunities for students to take state assessments, so absence on one testing date will not necessarily result in the student completely missing a testing opportunity.
Additionally, Southwest Preparatory School District expects students to attend school on all dates listed in our school calendar. We take attendance on state assessment days, and student absences will be counted as unexcused unless the reason for the absence qualifies as an excused absence under our Student Handbook or other school policy.
Similarly, a student may be considered truant under our state’s compulsory attendance laws if the student is absent on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year.
Finally, a student who fails to attend class more than 90% of the days the class is offered may not receive credit or a final grade for the class, unless certain conditions are met.
What happens if my child does not complete a state assessment?
If a student comes to school on a scheduled testing day but declines to take an assessment, the Texas Education Agency requires that the student’s test packet MUST still be scored. And, for high school students, our state law provides that students who fail more than two End-of-Course assessment may not be able to graduate, unless a special graduation committee determines the student can graduate.
State law also requires students who do not pass their state assessments to participate in 30 hours of accelerated instruction for assessment the student does not pass.
These are consequences that a parent should seriously consider before asking for their child to “opt out” of taking state assessments.
Who do I contact at my child’s school for additional information?
Please contact the Campus Administration.