Both House and Senate ESEA Bills Allow for Opt-out Without Penalty
Both the House and Senate have passed proposed authorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, and both House and Senate versions have opt-out provisions that allow for states to avoid being penalized for students whose parents opt them out of federally-mandated testing.
That’s right: Both House and Senate versions of the ESEA reauthorization provide a means for students who opt out to not be counted against the “95 percent” that the state is supposed to test as a condition for receiving Title I funding.
They just go about it differently.
I realize all of this can be difficult to follow. In this post, I hope to make the issue clear.
Opt-out and ECAA
Here’s how the parental opt-out provision works in the Senate’s Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) of 2015:
Paragraph (2) of Title I, entitled, “Academic Assessments,” (page 36 of the ECAA draft linked above) details the ECAA requirements for annual testing, including what tests are to be given and to whom. The last section of paragraph (2) is subparagraph (K), which is the text of Isakson’s first opt-out amendment, which was approved in the Senate ed committee in April 2015 (page 52 of the ECAA draft linked above):
(K) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION ON PARENT AND GUARDIAN RIGHTS.—Nothing in this part shall be construed as preempting a State or local law regarding the decision of a parent or guardian to not have the parent or guardian’s child participate in the statewide academic assessments under thisBoth House and Senate ESEA Bills Allow for Opt-out Without Penalty | deutsch29: