Answers Courtesy of CDE:
** Please Note: Monument Academy has a charter with Lewis-Palmer School District 38 but is governed by its own school board and policy regarding state standardized assessments. Because Monument Academy is a charter school, the word “school” can often be substituted for the word “district” in the answers found below.
Can parents excuse their children from taking the state tests?
Yes. State law allows parents to excuse their child from state assessments. This law requires districts to have policies that explain how parents may excuse a student from participating in one or more state assessments and notify parents of those policies. Your district can share their specific policy with you.
What are the consequences of excusing your child from participating in the state tests?
According to state law, districts cannot impose negative consequences on students or parents if a parent excuses his or her student from participating in a statewide assessment, including prohibiting school attendance, imposing an unexcused absence, or prohibiting participation in extracurricular activities. Likewise, districts cannot impose unreasonable burdens or requirements on a student to discourage the student from taking an assessment or to encourage the student’s parent to excuse his/her child from the assessment.
It is important to note that non-participation in state assessments means parents will not have information about their child’s attainment and growth on the state standards compared to other students in their school, district, and state. Also, there is a chance that comparisons between schools and districts won’t be available as common state assessments are the most consistent way to compare performance right now.
Will my school or district’s accreditation rating be impacted by low participation on tests?
Federal law requires 95 percent of students overall, and in each demographic category, to take the required assessments. However, the Colorado State Board of Education passed a motion in February 2015 that says districts will not be held liable for parents choosing to excuse their children from testing.
As a result of these two policies, there is no impact on state accountability determinations for schools or districts that do not meet the federal requirement for 95 percent participation in two or more content areas due to parents excusing their students from testing. If, however, the school or district fails to meet the 95 percent participation rate requirement in two or more content areas for reasons such as students refusing to take the test without a parent excuse (signed refusal form), then the school or district’s plan type will be lowered one level.
Are there financial impacts on teachers or schools for low participation?
There is no fiscal impact on a district or teacher, at the state level, for parents excusing students from state assessments.
Additional Questions We Receive:
Will refusing standardized tests in elementary and middle school (Common Core based PARCC/CMAS/CoAlt) hurt my student in high school?
Any student whose parent has refused testing will have that noted on their records, but there is no negative impact to those students in high school.
Will refusing standardized tests in elementary and middle school (Common Core based PARCC/CMAS/CoAlt) affect how my student is viewed by colleges?
Ultimately this can only be answered by the individual colleges, but the vast majority of colleges and universities use the SAT and/or ACT entrance exams in combination with transcripts, AP exams, and extra-curricular activities to evaluate students that are applying to attend. We are unaware of any colleges or universities that are using Common Core based exams to evaluate students that apply.