All students are required to participate in these assessments.
Parent/guardian reviewed the assessment, found it to be in conflict with his/her religious belief, and requested in writing that the student be excluded from participation: Chapter 4 of Title 22 of the Pa. Code (22 Pa. code 4.4) provides for the right of any parent/guardian to excuse his/her child from the state assessment if, upon inspection of the testing materials, he/she finds the assessment to be in conflict with his/her religious beliefs. This is the only basis under Chapter 4 rules for a parent/guardian to excuse his or her child from the statewide assessments.
a. Once tests have been received by the LEA, assessments must be available for review by parents and guardians from the time of receipt through the end of the testing window. The assessment must be reviewed on district property and district personnel must be present at all times. Districts must provide a convenient time for the review. This may include an evening review time, if requested. Proper security and confidentiality of the assessment must be maintained at all times.
b. Sites testing only online should contact DRC to order a set of paper/pencil assessments for the purposes of parental review. These booklets must be returned to DRC following the return instructions outlined in this handbook.
c. Parents and guardians must sign the Parent Confidentiality Agreement prior to examining test materials. A copy of this must be locally maintained. (Do not send this statement to PDE or DRC.) Parents and guardians may not photocopy, write down, or in any other manner record any portion of the assessments, including directions. The Parent Confidentiality Agreement.
d. If after reviewing the test, parents/guardians find the test to be in conflict with their religious beliefs and wish their student(s) to be excused from the test, the parents/guardians must provide a written request to the Superintendent or Chief Executive Officer that states they do not want their child tested because the test conflicts with their religious beliefs.
e. If the student is excused from the assessment due to parental or guardian request, school personnel must provide an alternative learning environment for the student during the assessment and select “Student’s parent/guardian reviewed the assessment, found it to be in conflict with his/her religious belief, and requested in writing that the student be excluded from participation.”
Parent/guardian chose to have his/her child excluded from participation based on reason(s) other than conflict with religious belief, even though there is no provision for this exclusion in Pennsylvania regulation: Even though PDE does not recognize parental refusal as an allowable exclusion, if a parent refuses to have his/her child participate in the assessment and does not provide a reason in accordance with Chapter 4 rules, the parents/guardians must provide a written request to the Superintendent or Chief Executive Officer that states they do not want their child tested.
Students who do not participate in the assessment due to parental refusal will negatively affect the school’s participation rate and can potentially have a negative impact on the school’s accountability status.