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Assessment FAQs

General FAQs

Q. When is parent/guardian opt-out allowed?

A.When a parent or guardian requests that the student be excused from participating in the WSAS, this request must be honored at grades 4, 8, 9-11, per Wis. Stats. 118.30(2)(b)3.. This request may come at any time during the testing window. All students excused by parent opt-out are marked as “not tested” students in school and district reporting determinations.

Q. How does a parent/guardian request an opt-out for their student?

A. A parent must submit a written request for student opt-out to the principal or the school board. Per Wis. Stats. 118.30(2)(b)3., if the student is in grades 4, 8, and 9-11 the request must be granted. However, if the student is not in the above mentioned grade levels, the decision to grant the request is at the discretion of the school board.

Q. What effect does it have on the school/district if a parent opts their student out of testing?

A. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires that all students participate in statewide standardized testing in grades 3-8 and once in high school. (In Wisconsin, this is the grade 11 ACT Plus Writing.) The law requires that participation rates be calculated based on the higher of either a 95% participation rate for all students and each subgroup of students or the actual number of students tested. ESEA also references withholding federal funding for not meeting federal requirements, including requirements for test participation.

In Wisconsin’s accountability report cards, a student that is opted out counts as not tested for purposes of test participation calculations and reporting. Non-tested students are not included in any achievement-based calculations. In other words, instead of counting as zero and lowering the school’s achievement scores, they are removed and do not impact the achievement scores