Maryland School District Recognizes Student Right to Refuse


The Frederick County Board of Education in Maryland last week passed a policy that recognizes a student’s right to refuse standardized assessments.

Here is the pertinent language:

A. The Board recognizes that the State of Maryland has not passed legislation allowing for parental opt-out of statewide testing as part of the regular instructional program of the public school system. Consequently, the Board cannot grant parental requests to opt-out of testing on behalf of their children. However, the Board acknowledges that in spite of the declaration of the Maryland State Board of Education (State Board), some students may still refuse to take assessments or may be barred from doing so by their parents. In the case of refusals, it is the Board’s expectation that students and families are treated by school staff with the same equity, dignity and respect as provided to test takers. If a school administrator is able to provide an alternative activity it must align with testing protocol.

B. Alternative Mode of Refusal – The Board recognizes that students communicate in a variety of methods throughout the school system, including through the use of a communication device. Therefore, it is the expectation of the Board that staff will honor any student’s typical mode of communication in the matter of honoring refusals.

You can read the whole policy here.