Opt out instructions for test coordinators
The list of students who have opted out of testing in your school will be stored in a Google Sheets document. This Google Sheet is shared with the testing coordinators and administrators at your school.
What does it mean to opt out?
Opting out of a test means the student is not required to take that test and must be given meaningful work to do in lieu of the standardized assessment. Opting out does not mean the student is removed from the data system or that no data is recorded for the student. A special code is used to designate opt-out students within the relevant data system.
Opting-out of summative testing, and participating in summative testing, both result in de-identified and aggregated student data being reported to the federal government. The difference in the data shared on all public school students as required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is that the proficiency level for a student who is opted-out will not be reported while a tested student’s proficiency level will be reported using a proficiency level of 1, 2, 3, or 4 as determined by the testing.
Opting out of a test cannot negatively affect a student’s class standing, course grade, or report card. However, standardized test scores are frequently used to determine placement in advanced courses/programs and to identify specific instructional needs of students. If a student is opted-out of testing, no score will exist to support these decisions. The parent/guardian will need to work closely with educators to ensure that the student has access to the instructional resources needed to be successful.
Which tests can students opt out of?
Utah law is currently interpreted that a student can be opted out of any assessment that is administered statewide or the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The current list of assessments that are opt-outable is found on the current opt-out form: Parental Exclusion (opt-out form)
How do I know who has opted out?
The school principal or designated administrator will let test coordinators know of new opt-out requests. You, the testing coordinator, should then make sure the student opt-out designation is logged in your school’s opt-out list. The opt-out list is a Google Sheets document that has been shared with you via Brooke Anderson in the Evaluation dept. This Google Sheets document will be shared with the school’s testing coordinator(s), administrator(s), and the appropriate Evaluation staff at the district level. Sharing the document means we can all see the same information, in the same place, updated in real time. This Google Sheet should be the always-accurate list of opt-outs for your school.
How do I use the Opt Out List spreadsheet?
- You will get an email from Brooke Anderson called YourSchoolName_OptOutList - Invitation to edit. When you open that email you will see a blue button: “Open in Sheets.” Click it.
- Open and edit the Google Sheets document in Google Drive. Please do not download it as that will create a separate Excel file that is no longer shared with the appropriate people. Also, this file will contain protected information that should not be left on your computer.
- Log the date of the student’s opt-out request and District ID, along with the relevant test information in the spreadsheet. Other student info (SSID, grade level, etc) will automatically populate.
- You do not need to save or share or send it anywhere. Google drive saves all data continuously and automatically. You can close the document tab if you are finished or enter another record.