Bill Text: NY S05394 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Provides for a parent to choose to opt their student out of the grade three through eight English language arts and math state assessments, and requires the commissioner of education to provide notice to parents of such right.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 5-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2020-01-08 - REFERRED TO EDUCATION [S05394 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S05394-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          5394
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                     April 29, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  Sen. JACKSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Education
        AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to enacting the "right to
          opt out of high-stakes testing act"
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Short title.  This act shall be known and may be cited as
     2  the "right to opt out of high-stakes testing act".
     3    § 2. Section 305 of the education law  is  amended  by  adding  a  new
     4  subdivision 51-b to read as follows:
     5    51-b.  a.  The  commissioner shall ensure that school districts notify
     6  parents of students in grades  three  through  eight,  either  by  email
     7  and/or  a mailed letter, that such students may refuse to participate in
     8  all state testing or any other high-stakes  testing.  Such  notification
     9  shall be given no sooner than thirty school days and no later than seven
    10  school days prior to the scheduled administration of such testing.  Such
    11  notification shall read as follows:
    12    "It  is  the right of every parent to direct the upbringing and educa-
    13  tion of their children. Parents may refuse to permit their  children  to
    14  take  state testing or any other high-stakes testing. Parents who refuse
    15  to permit their children to take such tests may send a letter containing
    16  the full name of the student, the name of the test or a  description  of
    17  the  test  so  it  may  be properly identified, and the signature of the
    18  student's parent or legal guardian. No punitive measures  may  be  taken
    19  against  students  who  refuse to participate in such testing, nor shall
    20  students who do participate in such testing  receive  any  incentive  or
    21  reward for doing so."
    22    The  text  of  such  notification  shall  be posted on school district
    23  websites in the most common spoken languages in the state.
    24    b. Students who do not participate in any state testing or  any  other
    25  high-stakes  testing  shall  be  scored  as  a "refusal", rather than as
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD10815-03-9

        S. 5394                             2
     1  "absent", in accordance with the student information repository  system.
     2  Students  who do not participate in any state testing or any other high-
     3  stakes testing shall continue to receive a free and  appropriate  public
     4  education  in  their  regular  classroom environment during the adminis-
     5  tration of all makeup test periods.
     6    c. Notwithstanding any other law, rule or regulation to the  contrary,
     7  it  shall  be  unlawful  for any school district to require a student to
     8  participate in any state testing or any other  high-stakes  testing.  It
     9  shall further be unlawful for any school district to take punitive meas-
    10  ures  against  students  who  refuse  to participate in such testing, or
    11  provide any form of incentive or reward for students who do  so  partic-
    12  ipate.  Punitive  measures  include,  but are not limited to, threats of
    13  repeating a school grade, mandating after school  attendance,  mandating
    14  summer  school attendance or any negative academic impact as a result of
    15  a student's refusal to participate in any state  testing  or  any  other
    16  high-stakes  testing.  School  districts  shall  provide  students whose
    17  parents refuse to permit their testing participation with  an  alternate
    18  educational activity during scheduled state testing times. Parents shall
    19  be  informed  of  such alternative educational activity upon request. It
    20  shall be unlawful for school districts to require such  students  to  be
    21  placed  in  a testing room or environment during scheduled state testing
    22  times, high-stakes testing times or makeup times. It  shall  further  be
    23  unlawful  for  a  school  district to require a meeting with a student's
    24  parents as a prerequisite for  refusal  to  participate  in  testing  or
    25  provide an alternate educational activity during scheduled state testing
    26  or high-stakes testing times.
    27    d.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision two of section three
    28  hundred six of this article, state aid for schools shall not be  contin-
    29  gent on or in any way affected by the student participation rate for any
    30  state  testing  or  any  other  high-stakes testing. Notwithstanding any
    31  other law, rule or regulation to the  contrary,  score  results  on  any
    32  state  testing  or  any  other  high-stakes testing shall not constitute
    33  grounds or be considered as a factor for determining whether a school is
    34  a chronically low-performing, underperforming  or  failing  school.  Nor
    35  shall  a  school  district  give  any consideration to classroom partic-
    36  ipation rates in such testing when  evaluating  teacher  performance  or
    37  making  personnel  decisions. It shall likewise be unlawful for a school
    38  district to re-allocate funding among or  between  schools  within  such
    39  district based on student participation rates for such testing.
    40    e.  School  districts  shall  not  solicit  or  encourage  any written
    41  exemption request on behalf of any student or group of students.
    42    f. Notwithstanding any other law, rule or regulation to the  contrary,
    43  a  parent's or legal guardian's written request to school district offi-
    44  cials to excuse their child from any or all state testing or  any  high-
    45  stakes testing pursuant to this subdivision shall be granted.
    46    g.  As  used in this subdivision, the term "high-stakes testing" shall
    47  mean testing where the results of such tests are used by the commission-
    48  er, the board of education or school district to:
    49    (1) determine a student's admission to a public school or program;
    50    (2) evaluate the performance of a teacher or school administrator; or
    51    (3) categorize a school as high-performing,  performing,  low-perform-
    52  ing, underperforming, needing improvement or failing.
    53    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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