Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding New York State Assessments
The following questions are frequently asked in regard to the NYS exams:
1. What do the regulations say about a parent’s right to “opt-out” of New York State assessments?
School district officials are bound by an oath of office to comply with all NYS regulations, including testing requirements. Neither the law nor the State commissioner's regulations provide any legal right or method for students to "opt-out" of the mandated assessments. New York State does not have a statutory opt-out provision and the State commissioner's regulations do not permit opting out except under specific exceptions, such as those involving students with disabilities.
2. What are the potential consequences for not taking the State exams?
NYS accountability mandate requires each school district to have a participation rate of at least 95 percent on the State assessments in accordance with NCLB. If a district does not reach this participation rate, a district's funding under Title I and other federal programs may be affected.
3. Are NYS exam results linked to teachers' performance evaluation?
No. The Commissioner of Education has temporarily postponed the use of the grade 3-8 exam results in a teachers’ rating as part of their Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR). However, the district is still required to calculate a transitional teacher rating using the state test results.
4. What is the process for parents who choose not to have their child take the State exams?
If parents choose not to allow their child to take the mandated assessments, the parent must provide a written request to their school principal indicating their decision not to have their child take the NYS exams.
5. How will principals’ respond if parents choose not to have their child take the State exams?
To preserve the integrity of the testing environment, principals will relocate students to another room during the duration of the exam(s).
6. What is the impact of the new regulations regarding "untimed" testing?
The exams have a suggested time allotment, which varies according to grade and exam. Students are able to take as much time for the written exams as they need to complete them. In the event a student needs more than the suggested time he/she may continue the written exam in his/her current setting or in an alternate location with a different proctor.
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