March 2016 Issue - Testing/Assessments and Learning Standards
March 29, 2016

NYSUT posts fact sheet on opting out of state tests

Source: NYSUT United

As yet another testing season gets underway, NYSUT has posted a fact sheet affirming its support of parents' right to choose what is best for their children — including NYSUT members who decide as parents to opt their child out of state tests.

The fact sheet posted at www.nysut.org/optoutfactsheet delineates members' rights and responsibilities and reviews federal requirements for participation in the state assessments. The fact sheet notes that SED is not authorized to withhold state aid based on a district's assessment participation. It also makes clear NYSUT will defend teachers against disciplinary action if a district pursues 3020-a charges.

NYSUT emphasizes that students should not be subject to harmful "sit-and-stare" policies and that districts should work with educators and parents to develop appropriate policies for students who choose to opt out.

At the union's last Representative Assembly, NYSUT delegates passed a resolution that directed NYSUT to ask all of its members who are parents to have their own children refuse the grades 3–8 assessments. However, since local circumstances may vary, such as in a district that has receivership schools, the resolution acknowledges local autonomy on the issue.

— Sylvia Saunders