Q: Are parents able to have their children refuse to take the 3-8 NYS Assessments?
A: No, there is no statute or regulation allowing parents to have their children refuse to take state assessments.
This is incorrect. Page 63 of the 2014-2015 SIRS Manual Version 10.4 specifically states that students that refuse NYS tests “will be considered to have ‘no valid test score’ and will be counted as not tested.” In April of 2014, between 55,000 and 60,000 parents successfully refused to allow their children to participate in NYS tests. So, yes, parents are allowed to refuse to have their children participate in 3-8 NYS assessments.
The third point of the fact-sheet is also false. It states that, “A refusal letter written from the parents does not suffice, the student has to come to school and refuse the assessment.” It could be considered ‘bullying’ and ‘harassment’ if a school district attempts to administer a test to a student after a parent clearly informs the school that the student is not to be tested. Although the school district is obligated to administer the tests, “Parents have the primary responsibility for the education of their children, and States, localities, and private institutions have the primary responsibility for supporting the parental role,” according to 20 United States Code, 2011 Edition, Title 20-Education, Chapter 48, Subchapter 1 of Congressional Findings.
The fact-sheet claims that “Refusals and partial refusals have the potential to affect the teacher and principal growth scores.” This is also not correct. As stated above, the SIRS Manual clearly states that refusal students are considered to have no valid test score and are counted as not tested.
In addition, failure to meet the 95% participation rate will NOT result in any harm to the school or school district. You can read the details here.
This flyer, release by North Tonawanda Middle School, is misleading and offensive.
To imply that NYS tests will ‘Show Us What You’ve Got’ is to say that students are only as good as their test score. This is unethical. CHILDREN ARE MORE THAN A SCORE!!!