How to Opt Out of STAR Testing

Yes you can opt your child out of STAR Testing

STAR Testing is a set of standardized test that California uses to assess to mathematical, language arts, and scientific proficiency of students grades 2-11. However, California is one of a few states that by law allow all parents to opt out of state-mandated standardized testing of any kind. There are also California regulations governing what educators can say to families concerning these standardized tests.

So, the Question is HOW?

It is generally pretty straight forward. You will want to check with your school specifically, as each district is different, but generally all that is required is a letter to the school’s principal or superintendent letting them know that your student will not be participating in the standardized testing taking place; in this case STAR Testing – and the letter can opt out of any parts of a test or standardized tests entirely. A letter may be required annually to remind the school that your student will not participate. Because of California law, this should be all that is involved, but check with your principal to confirm.

Why to Opt Out

You can opt out for any reason by law, but there may be some reasons to stay. The STAR Test is a general assessment of basic skills most students at a given level are likely to have in Math, English, and Science. It is good to know if your student meets these basic expectations, and in what areas they may be lacking. Because the tests are standardized, they are likely to actually have easier material than what your student is currently learning. So, if they find parts of the test difficult, it would be a red flag and good to know.

What if Testing has already started?

It’s possible to opt out at any stage of testing: before, during, or after. If you decide to opt out during testing, the scores your student has already achieved will be processed and still reported to you, while no further testing will be conducted, and your student will not have to participate in the testing times.

What will my student do instead?

It’s likely your school is experienced with parents wanting to opt out of all or a specific standardized test. What will usually be the case is the school will have some kind of educational activity set aside that those students who are opted out will be able to participate in while their peers are testing. This will vary depending on school and grade level.

Does opting out cost money?

No, and don’t pay if any is requested. According to California Education Code section 60615, it is law in California that parents can decide they don’t want their children to participate in state testing for any reason and outlines a parents’ rights to submit such a request to their school. Section 852 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations further states that these requests can be filed annually. However, your state itself may be subjected to federal fines if they don’t meet the criteria that 95% of currently enrolled students in their state must participate.

Call us with any questions

These are the basics of how to opt out of STAR Testing and some reasons for or against, as well as a summary of any complications that may arise. However, at Study Hut Tutoring we have experience helping families decide what the best decision is for them, and we’d love to her about your unique situation. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll do our best to find the solution that’s right for you.

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