image from slavinfpo’s site at flickr.com/creativecommons
I often hear Bay Area parents complain about the STAR testing required by the No Child Left Behind Act. In Berkeley, some take it a step further. They simply keep their kids from filling in the bubbles. In fact, so many Berkeley High students skipped the test last year that the school doesn’t have an API score (although maybe they didn’t need parental encouragement to boycott the test).
Parents do have the right to excuse their children from all or some of the STAR tests (Ed Code 60615). That puts schools and districts in a tough spot, though, since the federal law requires them to test 95 percent of their kids.
Berkeley, for example, is on Schwarzenegger’s new watch list because its participation rate is routinely too low.
Do schools and/or teachers inform parents of their right to opt out of the test, or is such information-sharing discouraged because of the potential ramifications? Do many parents know that opting out is an option? Should they take it, or is that only hurting their school?