Opting out of PARCC Assessment?
Are you in or are you out? While quite different than vaccinations, New Jersey parents are now considering whether to have their children opt-out of taking the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Assessment. The PARCC Assessment is the examination the State of New Jersey utilizes to meets its requirement, under the Federal No Child Left Behind (NLCB) statute, to annually assess student academic performance. N.J.A.C. 6A:8-4.1 (a) empowers the Commissioner of Education to “implement assessments of student achievement in the State’s public schools… as he or she deems appropriate.” Commissioner Hespe has responded to this charge by indicating that all children must sit for the PARCC Assessment; and that the failure of a student to participate in the PARCC Assessment may subject the student to disciplinary actions and/or the School District to the loss of State and/or Federal funding. Commissioner Hespe has encouraged school administrators to review their districts discipline and attendance policies to address situations that may arise during the days that the PARCC Assessment is administered. Parents wishing to opt out of the PARCC Assessment should accordingly carefully review their school districts policies regarding the PARCC Assessment, including any potential disciplinary actions and or attendance issues; and should submit written requests to their school districts for opting-out sooner rather than later. The written requests should, where appropriate, reference applicable New Jersey law supportive of a student’s right to opt-out from certain school activities; see e.g., N.J.S.A. 18 A: 35-4.7 (objection based on parents “… conscience or sincerely held religious beliefs…”). See also, Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment of 1978 (PPRA) (requiring parental consent before students can be required to participate in any Department of Education funded survey, analysis or evaluation that reveals arguably protected information of the concerning the student). If you have an issues regarding the PARCC Assessment, vaccinations, special education law, harassment, bullying and/or or any other education law issue, please contact us.