Refusing Standardized Testing

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.

and the email below:

no law to compel participation

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 test have been successful in the 2014/2015 school year in refusing testing by submitting a letter to their district. Sample text of a refusal letter is below.  It is best to send this letter to your school’s principal as early as possible.

Policies throughout Rhode Island are inconsistent from district to district.  Parents Across Rhode Island will update individual districts here as we gather more and more information on refusing from 2014/2015 school year.   If your district has a policy that requires participation ( Bristol/Warren , Smithfield , Exeter/West Greenwich and maybe others), you should inquire as to what specific punishments your child will incur as a result of the refusal.  For example, in Bristol/Warren, the Superintendent indicated that there would be no ramifications for refusals in grades 3-8 but in grades 9-11, the district could prevent the student from graduating.
Parents Across Rhode Island recommends that you send your letter via mail (not email) to your school’s principal.


PARCC Refusal Sample Letter


TO:        School Principal

RE:        Jane / John Doe

Dear School Principal:

My child/children, who is/are a student(s) in the School, will not be participating in PARCC testing for the school year(s) 20XX-XX.  As their parent/guardian, I am refusing their participation in this standardized testing.  Jane/John is currently in the Xth grade at XXX School.  In addition, please allow this letter to serve as notice that my child/children will not take part in any surveys given in the classroom.  I request that they are to bring any such surveys home for my review before completing or turning them in to class/school.  Thank you for your cooperation.

I will provide my child with appropriate reading material that they may read quietly, or complete homework if it is permitted, during testing time.

Sincerely, Parent/Address


2 thoughts on “ Refusing Standardized Testing

  1. Wendy Holmes says:

    Hi, I’m looking for Kim Zito’s opt out letter, which she says is on here. Can you connect me with it please?


  2. one thing I might add to the letter is that the parent is also refusing all test prep associated with the PARCC or other testing…


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