Do students and parents/guardians have the right to opt-out their child from state testing?
Yes, but OSPI refers to this as a refusal, not an opt-out. While not addressed in state legislation, adopted agency policy allows students or parents to refuse to participate in state assessments. This policy requires either the student or parent to put this request into writing and for it to be kept on file at the school or district office. In addition, the policy recommends the parent include the reason for not wanting the child tested but it is not required. Requests should specifically list any tests you wish to opt-out of including interim tests, practice or make-up tests.
What are the requirements for taking the state assessment(s)?
District requirements: At all grade levels, districts may adopt additional policies that could impact families and students deciding to opt out of state or district required tests. For example, districts may use results to inform or determine placement in programs such as AP, IB or highly capable programs. Students and parents considering opting out are encouraged to contact their school district to determine if there are any local impacts.
High school graduation: Starting with the class of 2020, as a part of their graduation requirements, students must meet at least one graduation pathway. While passage of the SBA is not required to earn a diploma in Washington, the state ELA and math assessment is one of the several pathway options. For a full list of all the possible graduation pathways, please visit the State Board of Education's website. Please be aware that districts are not required to offer students access to all the allowable pathways. A list of all graduation requirements is available here.
More resources and information
- FairTest: National Center for Fair and Open Testing
- United Opt Out
- Change the Stakes
- State Board of Education
Graduation Pathway Options
Multiple Pathways to Graduation (House Bill 1599)
Please contact Sally McNair for more information about opting-out.