Forgive my cribbing but I did attend an all boys Catholic school and if we got one thing right it was transferring data into reusable byte sized pieces.
I snagged this bit of information from Western New Yorkers for Public Education's site.
Q: If my child refuses to take these tests will it negatively affect him/her?
A: No. There is no negative affect on your child if they do not take these tests. The one exception would be Regents exams in 8th grade or at the high school level. Your child should NOT refuse Regents exams.
Q: If my child refuses to take these tests will it negatively affect their teacher.
A: No. There are no implications for the teacher.
Q: If my child refuses to take these tests will it have a negative financial affect the school district?
A: Schools are required to have 95% participation on State tests. For schools that have less than 95% participation on State tests, it only has a financial affect on Title I (low income/disadvantaged) schools. If a Title I school has less than 95% participation then the school district must set-aside 5-15% of district Title I funding into a set-aside account. This money is to be used to pay for transportation/support of students that ask to be transferred to another school in the district and to provide tutorial/supportive services to students that request it. If the money is not used it remains with the school district. Many parents do not consider transferring their child to another school simply because there was less than 95% participation on the tests. And many parents do not request extra tutorial services after normal school hours because they feel it is necessary for children to have free time. So it is likely that much of this set-aside money will remain with the district.
Q: If my child refuses to take tests will it affect the school report card?
A: No. Refusals are scored as "999" which means the score is invalid, and it does not affect the school report card.
Q: Should my child write "refuse" on the test?
A: No, but double check with your principal. Most districts have pre-printed labels on the test so the child does not have to write their name on it. Most districts, principals, and teachers seem to agree that If anything is written on the test it could be scored as "zero" instead of "refuse". The consensus seems to be that the child should just push the test away and write nothing, but double check with your principal.
Q: Is my child allowed to read once they refuse the test?
A: You must discuss this with your individual school. Schools are not required to allow your child to read once they have refused the test. Some schools are allowing children to read once they refuse the test, and other schools are willing to even provide another room or activity for them. It is best to keep a friendly, open communication with the principal and work with them to create an acceptable environment for your child. If all else fails, you reserve the right to remove the child from the test once they have refused the test. But try to work with the school first.
Q: What is the difference between "refusing" and "opting-out"?
A: There is no provision for opting-out, so technically it doesn't exist, and we are refusing these tests. Think of opting-out as a legal provision such as when you opt-out of unwanted emails that you may receive. You have a legal right to opt-out of unwanted emails. The same is true with telemarketing calls. You have a legal right to opt-out of telemarketing calls through the Do-Not-Call List. However, we do NOT have this legal right with testing. There is NO opt-out provision. We are refusing these tests. We do, however, often use the terms "refuse" and "opt-out" synonymously.
Q: What can I do if I want to help?
A: The very best thing you can do to help this cause is to tell other parents about this. Use the "Tools" section to print flyers, petitions, letters, etc, that you can give to other parents to educate them and help them get started. Add your "friends" to our facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/480871575265847/