Thousands Opt-Out of PARCC in Rhode Island

rhode-island-state-flagWPRI Channel 12 reports that thousands to students opted out of PARCC in Rhode Island last week.

At least 3,000 elementary, middle and high school students throughout Rhode Island did not join their classmates in taking the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam beginning in March, with Burrillville posting the largest rate of district-wide opt-outs, at 37%.

Scituate, Westerly, North Smithfield, Central Falls and Little Compton all saw at least 10% of eligible students fail to take the PARCC exam, according to an Eyewitness News review of participation data in 27 of Rhode Island’s 36 school districts….

… The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) estimates that about 80,000 students across the state took the exam – Middletown, Coventry and Barrington each had 99% participation rates – but the department did not require school districts to report the number of children who didn’t participate, according to spokesman Elliot Krieger.

Krieger said PARCC opt-out rates will be reviewed when test scores are reported in the fall. But the lack of guidance from the state around students refusing to take the exam has been a source of frustration for some school leaders, according to Kathy Sipala, the president of the Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association.

“The fact that there is no law that says parents can refuse their participation, but there is also no law that says they can opt out, that contradiction is hard,” Sipala, who also heads up the Narragansett School Department, told Eyewitness News.

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