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As parents increasingly ask to opt their children out of standardized tests, state boards of education are sometimes unsure whether and how to respond. This analysis highlights successful policy strategies for addressing opt out requests and how state boards can use this opportunity to communicate the benefits of testing and improve the public’s understanding of test-based accountability.

Largely, opt out policies are a mixed bag, and few states have issued clear, comprehensive guidance to help parents understand their test refusal rights. But state boards can work with school districts to supply parents with critical policy details, and in doing so they can increase understanding of the benefits of standardized tests. “Board members can leverage their position to raise awareness of policies,” writes author Sarah-Jane Lorenzo. “Their guidance and communication can help parents understand how data from standardized tests helps students, schools, and districts get the resources they need.”


Responding to Opt Out Requests: The Opportunity for State Boards



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