The Truth about Refusing/Opting Out

Filed in Uncategorized by on December 30, 2014 2 Comments

Last year parents who decided to opt their children out of the SBAC test were told that there was no opt out provision in Idaho.  Guess what?  That is correct.  If you read through IDAPA- Idaho Rules Governing Thoroughness , you will not find one mention of opting out.  (Lots of other interesting stuff, but no mention of opting out.)  However, not only does it not mention that parents can opt out or refuse the test, nowhere does it mention that parents can’t.  So, similar to the 10th Amendment in the Bill of Rights, which states,

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

wouldn’t it make more sense if anything not mentioned in the Rules for Thoroughness reverted back to the parent?  In other words, the lack of anything specifically prohibiting it gives all parents every right to remove their child from the SBAC/ISAT 2.0 tests.

The other thing you’re not going to find anywhere in Rules for Thoroughness is the SBAC itself.   The ISAT is mentioned frequently but you won’t find the SBAC mentioned once.  Maybe this was the reason for changing the name of the SBAC to ISAT 2.0.  However, there is some question as to the legality of changing something that is written into code/rules without changing the rule – especially when referring to the two very different tests of the ISAT and SBAC.

In fact, even Luci Willits said they were not the same test in testimony last February to the House education committee,

Ms. Willits described the difference between the ISAT and the SBAC. The ISAT is
a summative test, the sum of what a student has learned throughout the year. The
SBAC is a system, not just one test taken at one time. The foundation for the SBAC
is the standards.

See page 88.

So, this year as you turn in your refusal letter, be armed with the facts.  You may get push-back from school administrators, but, as a parent, you are the ultimate authority in your child’s education.  The good news is these facts are really hard for any logical, fair-minded person to refute.

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