Schools and districts are in the challenging position of balancing the requirements of state law (all students must be assessed) and honoring parent requests that their students do not participate in the state assessments. Some parents and students have reported feeling pressured to have their students participate in the assessments. Some schools and districts are frustrated by parents refusing to have their child participate in the state assessments, as it could have a negative impact on the school/district rating. The tension has been increasing as more parent and student voices are speaking out against participating in the new state assessments.

But according Deborah S. Delisle, the US Department of Education assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, who made it clear Wednesday they will look at each state’s context differently when thinking about what sort of sanctions to impose when it comes to opt-outs.

“One of the things we will judge by is, what has the state chief done, to get [folks] to [go ahead with testing],” Delisle said. “Let’s say he sent a letter that said, ‘oh what the hell, just opt-out. It’s not a problem, we’ll deal with it, no ramifications.’ We would deal with that differently then if the chief goes around to every district saying, ‘Hey look, [this] is federal law, you’ve gotta comply,’ and everything in between.”

Translated?  This means all threats are bogus… Your children aren’t… You need to opt them out of taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment.