Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Arizona Attorney General Says Parents Have No Legal Right To Opt Children Out Of State Standardized Tests

From the Arizona Capital Times:

Parents of students in public schools have no legal right to withdraw their children or opt out of statewide standardized tests, Attorney General Mark Brnovich concluded today.

In a formal opinion, Brnovich acknowledged that state law does permit parents to exempt their children from certain learning materials and activities they find objectionable. That even includes keeping them out of a class or lesson where the material is being used or discussed.

But Brnovich, in response to a question raised by state schools chief Diane Douglas, said standardized tests are “separate and distinct” from such materials or activities. And he said nothing in the exemption law specifically includes a right to withdraw from standardized tests.

The attorney general also rejected Douglas’ suggestion that parents gained new rights in 2010 when the Legislature passed a “Parents Bill of Rights.”

That law, he said details the obligation of local school boards to ensure they inform parents about their rights to opt out of certain assignments. It also includes the ability to refuse to have children immunized and the right not to have children taught about AIDS.

But nowhere in that law, Brnovich said, did lawmakers include testing.

“The Legislature’s failure to include such a right is especially telling because the statute specifically mentions the ‘right to review test results’ and the `right to receive a school report card,’” he wrote.

Yet Brnovich pointed out that, even in amending the law in 2010, the Legislature did not see fit to include opting out of testing in that list. And he said that when lawmakers make an extensive list like this, it is presumed they know what is not on it.

So in Arizona a parent has a right to opt their children out of immunization and AIDS education but not the state tests.

Think about that - think about the values inherent in such a "law".


  1. According to a NYS assemblyman, parent have a constitutional right to opt their children out of state tests. Does Arizona have a state law that requires kids to take the test? If so, wouldn't that be a violation of their constitutional rights?

  2. Dont think for even a second that Cuomo, Tisch, Elia, and a whole bunch of NYS politicians aren't looking at this from Arizona.

    Elia plans to combat Opt Out via going after teachers and districts.

    Cuomo et. al would LOVE to go this direction.

    Watch for it.

    (I know there are tons of reasons that we'd not see this in NY State, but just watch for it....just watch...)

  3. By the way, I don't know if you heard teachers made the website crash because the retro check amounts were posted.

    Imagine if they voted.

    1. I did see that, yes.

      Great frame of the issue, Rage.

      You're right!

  4. A few comments:

    1. I am not worried about Elia and any of her huffing and puffing. The Regents are clearly running scared and they see where the tide is heading. Elia is a short-termer. No one has ever beaten back the great mass of people on any issue. Opt out will continue to grow, as it should. It is too widespread to contain at this point. It reached the tipping point last spring.

    2. 2016 is an election year for all 213 members of the state legislature. No one is going to take on all of these parents. The GOP Senate's power base is in the suburbs, precisely the place where opt out is at its strongest.

    3. The Arizona AG is an aberration. My district and many other districts sent parents a letter telling them their is no legal mechanism in place that allows them to opt their children out of the state tests. The parents then went right ahead and did it anyway. The people are speaking and the politicians are too afraid not to listen.

    1. Acting Secretary of Education John King may have room for Elia under his wing if she is career and college ready.

      Abigail Shure