The following opt-out/refusal code of ethics reflects an approach to this issue that puts the well-being of students above other considerations.
• The school will provide an alternative setting for students whose families opt them out of/refuse testing. This setting will have educational activities available and will not be punitive – such as sitting in the office while other children take the test.
• The school will not encourage parents to keep their children home. The school believes being in school is a student’s right and will make accommodations for children whose parents opt them out of testing.
• The school will establish a formal policy that children are not to be badgered or coerced into taking the test by anyone on staff.
• Educators in the building will not use a family’s decision to opt their child out of/refuse standardized testing to influence grading or future classroom placement.
• The school will honor and uphold a family’s right to make educational and emotional decisions for their child, and will work with them as partners in their decision-making.
This is a modified version of the opt-out code of ethics written by Chicago Public Schools teacher Michelle Gunderson, and published on the Education Week blog “Living in Dialogue,” 3 March 2014.
For the difference between opting out of tests and refusing them, visit “Opting out” or “refusing”?