Polk parents receiving push back for opting out of Florida Standards Assessment test

BARTOW, Fla. — Tuesday was the first day of Florida standardized testing for some students across the state. For parents deciding to opt their kids out of the exams, they received some pushback from local schools.

“This morning when I dropped her off I let them know that as she broke the seal on her test I would be waiting in the office to pick her up,” a mother who spoke to ABC Action News wishing to remain anonymous, says she is afraid of negative backlash for her children.

She is not the first mother to opt her children out of the FSA, but when she went to her fifth grader’s school, she felt like it.

“It was just flat out 'No you can’t do that,'” she said.

According to the mother, the assistant principal refused to allow the mother to check her daughter out. 

ABC Action News went straight to the Polk County School Board, which says they must at least administer the test to the students in certain grades. It is the law according to Florida Statute 1003.4282.

However, the students do not have to take tests if their parents decide they want to opt out.

Instead, parents should be aware if they choose to opt their children out of taking the standardized test, they need to know whether or not it has to be replaced with an alternative test for promotion to the next grade. 
This only pertains to third grade students, and 10th grade students.

Eventually, the unnamed Polk County school did allow the student to leave with her family, only after she was given the test and broke the seal.

“I told her that she really doesn’t have a choice and she is my daughter so I would be able to check her out if I need to,” the mother said.

Choosing to opt out her fifth grade daughter from the test, forces the school to pass or fail her, according to her homework and not the state exam.

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