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Frequently Asked Questions about New York State Testing

on April 1, 2015

April 1, 2015

Q: Is the school district required to administer the State assessments?

A: Yes. State assessments are included as part of the program requirements for students in Grades 3-8 under Sections 100.3 and 100.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Furthermore, school districts, at all times, retain responsibility for maintaining their core academic program, including the administration of State assessments.

Q: Do I need to let the school know my child will take the assessments?

A: No. The District is required to administer the examinations to all students in grades 3 – 8. The school will assume a child is taking the assessments unless a parent/guardian has indicated otherwise.

Q: Will the school district lose funding if many students refuse to take the State assessments?

A: We have been informed that the district’s access to federal Title I money and accountability status could be threatened by participation below 95 percent. If the District falls below the 95 percent participation level, we may lose our ability to freely spend our Title I funds. In other words, we may lose programming as a result of the Federal Government advising the District exactly how Title I money must be spent.

Q: How do I go about notifying the school that I want to have my child refuse the test?

A: A written request may be directed to the Principal of the school your child attends. It is important that the school know of this decision as soon as possible—please do not wait until the day of the exam. You will receive written correspondence from the Principal acknowledging your request.

Q: If I decided to keep my child home during the administration of the tests, how will this be handled by the school district?

A: Students are required to come to school. Absences from all or part of the required academic program will be handled in accordance with the attendance policies of the district.

Q: Will my child be denied access to accelerated classes by not taking the State tests?

A: No. Refusing to take a state exam will not preclude your child’s access to accelerated programs. For instance, eligibility for the accelerated program in grade 7 or 8 is based on a matrix. While components of the traditional matrices include the state assessments—information the district believes further strengthens the student placement process—the matrices are adjusted for students who do not participate in the tests so that they are not penalized.

Q: Will the results of the State testing become part of my child’s permanent school record?

A: No. The results from the State tests are being provided for diagnostic purposes and are not to be included in official transcripts or permanent student records.

Q: Will my child be required to sit in the testing room while tests are being given if he/she refuses to take the exam?

A: No. Students whose parents have previously indicated in writing that they are opting their child out of assessments will be assigned to a separate room from the testing so as to not disrupt the testing environment for the other students. Such students, including your child, will be expected to read or study quietly individually during the test period. No alternative instruction will be provided.

Q: Will my child be asked to verbally refuse testing, or will parents’ written confirmation provide this notification?

A: Students will not be asked to verbally refuse the test as long as the school has received written confirmation from the parent.

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