March 18, 2014 Limited NYSED Guidance Regarding Opt Out Procedures
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
The New York State Education Department (“the NYSED”) has issued the School Administrator’s Manual for the 2014 Grades 3-8 Common Core English Language Arts and Mathematics Tests (“the Manual”). The Manual sets forth the policies and procedures that are to be followed in order to ensure that the tests are administered on a uniform basis across the State.
We were all hopeful that the NYSED would provide detailed guidance regarding how to address students who have opted out of taking the tests. Instead, the Manual only includes the following sentence: “Schools do not have any obligation to provide an alternative location or activities for individual students while the tests are being administered.” Although not specifically stated, this language implies that you can provide for an alternate location and allow students to participate in alternative activities while the test is being administered. That being said, we continue to advise our clients to avoid any statements, policies or actions that could be viewed as encouraging students to “opt out” of the test because NYSED continues to state that all students are required to participate in testing and has not given specific guidance for what school districts can and cannot do when students “opt-out” from the tests.
We will continue to keep you informed of any updates or additional guidance issued by the NYSED.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2014