Should Parents Opt their Children Out of Standardized Tests?

May 6, 2021 | Assessments, Covid-19

Many parents are considering whether to opt their children out of standardized tests (called “SOLs” in Virginia) this spring. Parents have the right to opt their children out of SOL testing this year, as they do every year, but will want to carefully consider this decision.

What are the considerations for students with disabilities?

First, parents of secondary students – especially high school students but also middle school students who are taking high school verified credit courses – will want to check with their child’s school to determine if there is an impact on credits required for graduation.

Beyond that, it’s a good idea to check with your child’s teacher or case carrier to see how your child is performing in the class, ask about alternate assessments, and to determine if the lack of an SOL score will impact class placement or anything else.

Parents of students with disabilities will want to be especially mindful of the value of collecting data on your child’s progress or lack thereof, as it could impact future IEP discussions and conversations about recovery services. The SOL is one source of data, but not the only one.

Finally, this year there are also considerations regarding Covid safety for high risk virtual students who would need to enter school buildings to take the test, as well as student stress and anxiety.