Sunday, January 26, 2014

Opting out of MCAS

It's taken me a bit to get back to this, but something was said at our December 5 School Committee meeting that I finally got a chance to go back to and find out more about this week.
It happened here, while Ms. Biancheria was clarifying what would happen if the district rolled forward with PARCC pilot testing--could parents still opt their children out?
Superintendent Boone agreed that they could, going on to say that parents could opt their child out of MCAS, as there was a code for this.

Well, that was new to me, so I asked a bit more about it, and it works like this: should a child (or a child's parents, on the child's behalf) refuse the MCAS, that gets coded as NTO, which is Not Tested Other.
Not only that BUT it need not count as a zero: so long as the school reports during the discrepancy reporting period that the child refused the test, the school can have that score removed from their accountability calculations.

NOTE (per questions below) that this does not change the state requirement around MCAS for high school graduation.


cold mountain said...

I'm assuming that opting out is not an option for high school students since passing certain MCAS tests is a graduation requirement. Is that correct? Because if it's not, this is a game-changer

Tracy Novick said...

The state requires ELA, math, and science MCAS (or MCAS-Alt) for graduation from a public school in Massachusetts, so, yes, this does not change that.

Going Gray said... daughter is in public school in Leominster. We are looking into her opting out of MCAS for next year. How do I go about this? Is there a letter I need to write? A form to fill out? Do I keep her home or send her to school?
Thank you for any info. It's all very confusing.