Illegal to Refuse? Why Does the SDE Say You Can?

Filed in Uncategorized by on March 28, 2015 4 Comments

SBAC/ISAT 2.0 testing begins on Monday for all Idaho teachers and students.  As parents from across the state attempt to exempt their children from the test, they are being told that it’s illegal to refuse to take it.  If it’s illegal to refuse, why does the SDE say you can?  In fact, two separate Idaho documents list parent refusal as a reason that students are unable to test.

This first picture is taken from page 184 0f the ISAT Spring 2011 Technical Report

 

Parent Refusal code

Click to enlarge.

This second example comes from a document that is no longer available on the internet, and I wasn’t quick enough to save it before it disappeared.  However, on what was page 27  of the 2013 Test Coordinator Guide you would have found this:

 

Parent refusal

Click to enlarge.

It seems peculiar that the state would have a code for an illegal activity in the test coordinator packets without something to note that it was actually illegal.

Why the change in tone?

With many parents in many state discovering just how invasive, long and unproductive these tests really are, more and more are deciding to reclaim their parental authority and “just say no” to the tests.  This worries USED.  How can they control what is taught in schools if they can’t control the test, or rather who takes the test?

The SDE is feeling the pressure to comply with unconstitutional mandates from the U.S. Department of Education. Our Idaho Department of Education is offloading that pressure onto the districts.   This explains the sudden, shrill chorus of, “It’s illegal!” from local school districts.

However, you must not allow poor decisions by someone in a governmental office in Boise prevent you from doing what’s best for your children.  It’s not illegal to parent.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Karen says:

    My understanding is that with this bill, SBAC would be done away with next school year. Why would they not allow you to opt out of it now? http://legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2015/SCR106.htm

    • Stephanie Zimmerman says:

      Unfortunately SCR is only a resolution and does nothing. We had no legislation this year that made it through the committees that would have done anything.

    • Stephanie Zimmerman says:

      Unfortunately SCR is only a resolution that does nothing. We had no legislation this year that made it through the committees that would have done anything.

  2. The form you are looking at is to inform scoring in order to help interpret the results. “Parent refusal” is one reason why a student did not take the test. There are other reasons for students not taking the test. None of them should be understood as state permission to be miss the test whether absent or whatever on the test day. The expectation is that 95% of the students will take the test. That means that 5% of the students may be counted among the non-tested. Details about the reason helps inform scoring and interpretation. It’s that simple.

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