The “Opt-Out” movement continues to grow nationally and in New York state. Parents and teachers are deeply concerned about over-testing and the stress the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) has placed on students. As a result, more parents are considering whether or not it is in their children’s best interests to take these assessments. This is in direct conflict with the state, which has a vested interest in ensuring all students take the assessments. The State Education Department (SED) has taken the position that there is no provision in state law that allows students to “Opt-Out” and has provided little guidance to districts. This Fact Sheet reviews the Federal requirements for participation in the state assessments and potential consequences of opting-out for districts, students and teachers.
By Regina McLean, President of the Port Washington Teachers Association; John Caulfield, President of the Levittown Teachers Association; and Matthew Adler, President of the United