Dear Washington County Parents:
It has come to my attention that the “alternative” test being given to your child if they opt out of SAGE is in fact still the SAGE test, just not recorded. This is happening in MANY of our schools and is an outright attempt to subvert your rights as a parent..
I am sharing with you State Law and our Board Rule so that you can be aware and better defend your divine right.
1- It is against the law for ANY points to be given towards a student’s grade regarding SAGE testing. Pay close attention to the word reward- This includes participation points for taking SAGE, prizes given for SAGE scores, and field trips awarded for high SAGE scores.
(i)shall follow the procedures outlined in rules made by the State Board of Education under Subsection (9)(b) to excuse a student under Subsection (9)(a);
(ii)may not require procedures to excuse a student under Subsection (9)(a) in addition to the procedures outlined in rules made by the State Board of Education under Subsection (9)(b); and
(iii)may not reward a student for taking an assessment described in Subsection (9)(a).
2- It is against Board Rule to use the SAGE test to determine a student’s grade. The test can not be used to determine if your child can or can not take an AP class. If you are being told this, it is against Board Rule.
R277-404-6 School Responsibilities:
(1) An LEA, school, or educator may not use a student’s score on a state required assessment to determine:
(a) the student’s academic grade, or a portion of the student’s academic grade, for the appropriate course; or
(b) whether the student may advance to the next grade level.
3- Some LEA’s are using what is written here regarding an alternate assessment as a green card to offer it to all students. That is not the case. Read it carefully and you will see that you may exercise the right to exempt your child from a state required assessment, this includes any alternative assessment that your school claims is required by the State.
R277-404-7 Student and Parent Participation in Student Assessments in Public Schools; Parental Exclusion from Testing and Safe Harbor Provisions.:
(1)(a) Parents are primarily responsible for their children’s education and have the constitutional right to determine which aspects of public education, including assessment systems, in which their children participate.
(b) Parents may further exercise their inherent rights to exempt their children from a state required assessment without further consequence by an LEA.
(2) An LEA shall administer state required assessments to all students unless:
(a) the Utah alternate assessment is approved for specific students consistent with federal law and as specified in the student’s IEP; or
(b) students are excused by a parent or guardian under Section 53A-15-1403(9) and as provided in this rule.
(3)(a) A parent may exercise the right to exempt their child from a state required assessment.