With schools beginning their 2017 – 2018 school years across the state, I wanted to take just a brief moment to remind interested parents about the new opt out forms for state testing. I’ve seen a few inquiries floating around and it’s obvious that some parents aren’t aware of the specifics.
Last legislative session, Rep. Ben Koppelman (R – District 16) introduced House Bill 1389, which became known as “The Opt Out Bill”. I’m not going to get into specifics of what changes took place as it went through the legislative process. You can see the various versions of the bill by going here.
Nor am I going to get into details about what the final requirements were from the legislation. Not only is that in the previous link, but a breakdown of them can be found in this DPI document for parental directives.
While there were certainly imperfections in the bill, at least it still provided a means by which parents can indeed opt their children out of the state’s standardized testing. One of the requirements is that parents utilize the form created by the Department of Public Instruction. If you are among those parents planning to opt out, then you can download and/or print a copy of the form by clicking here.
The number of parents opting students out of standardized testing has been on the rise in recent years. If you’re not familiar with the reasons some parents are doing so, here’s a link with a video and article explaining some of them. The video features Diane Ravitch– who worked in the Department of Education under President George H.W. Bush.
I should warn you that if you’ve never opted your kids out before, there are some districts that are not fond of the idea. But stick to your guns if you get pushback. It’s your right as a parent to make the decision and it’s literally codified in North Dakota law. They can’t deny you the option when it comes to the specific tests that are listed on the form.
3. http://www.valleynewslive.com/content/news/Passed-bill-allows-parents-to-opt-students-out-of-testing-419514593.html 4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/04/03/diane-ravitch-why-all-parents-should-opt-their-kids-out-of-high-stakes-standardized-tests/?utm_term=.7181109900b2