Refusing Standardized Tests

In Rhode Island, while students are expected to participate in standardized state assessments, there is no law that requires them to do so. This is affirmed in the Commissioner Field Memo from February 2015.

Note that in August 2015, the New York State Department of Education affirmed that despite the more than 200,000 refusals in the state, US Department of Education affirmed it was leaving any decision about financial penalties due to refusals to the state. , or the PDF here: Won’t Lose Money – The New York Times .

Parents who object to their children taking standardized state assessments like the PARCC tests, have been successful refusing those tests by submitting a letter to their district.  A sample letter is here: Sample PARCC refusal letter .  It is best to discuss this with your school and submit the letter at the beginning of the school year, however, it can be submitted anytime prior to the testing date.

You should receive written confirmation from your district that they received and will honor your wishes.  You do not need to follow up with a meeting with the district if you don’t want to.  You should inquire what alternate activities will be set up for those who have refused.  According to PARCC, non-test takers should not be in the same room as the test takers.

Please keep in mind, while other parents have successfully opted out / refused the testing in 2014/2015 in Rhode Island and other parts of the country, you can expect push back from administrators regarding your right to refuse this test for your child.

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