Why statewide testing?
Parent/Guardian Guide and Refusal for
Student Participation in Statewide Testing
This information will help parents/guardians make informed decisions that benefit their children, schools, and communities.
ta values its educational system and the professionalism of its educators. Minnesota educators created the academic
standards which are rigorous and prepare our students for career and college.
The statewide assessments are how we as a state measure that curriculum and daily instruction in our schools are being
aligned to the academics standards, ensuring all students are being provided an equitable education. Statewide assessment
results are just one tool to monitor that we are providing our children with the education that will ensure a strong workforce
and knowledgeable citizens.
Why does participation matter?
A statewide assessment is just one measure of your student’s achievement, but your student’s participation is important to
understand how effectively the education at your student’s school is aligned to the academic standards.
In Minnesotas implementation of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, a student not participating in the statewide
assessments will not receive an individual score and will be counted as not proficient for the purpose of school and
district accountability, including opportunities for support and recognition.
Students who receive a college-ready score on the high school MCA are not required to take a remedial, noncredit course
at a Minnesota State college or university in the corresponding subject area, potentially saving the student time and money.
tors and policy makers use information from assessments to make decisions about resources and support provided.
Parents and the general public use assessment information to compare schools and make decisions about where to
purchase a home or to enroll their children.
School performance results that are publicly released and used by families and communities, are negatively impacted if
students do not participate in assessments.
Academic Standards and Assessments
What are academic standards?
The Minnesota K12 Academic Standards are the statewide expectations for student academic achievement. They identify the
knowledge and skills that all students must achieve in a content area and are organized by grade level. School districts
determine how students will meet the standards by developing courses and curriculum aligned to the academic standards.
What is the relationship between academic statewide assessments and the academic standards?
The statewide assessments in mathematics, reading, and science are used to measure whether students, and their school and
district, are meeting the academic standards. Statewide assessments are one measure of how well students are doing on the
content that is part of their daily instruction. It is also a measure of how well schools and districts are doing in aligning their
curriculum and teaching the standards.
Based on the Minnesota Academic Standards; given
annually in grades 38 and high school in reading and
mathematics; given annually in grades 5, 8 and high
school for science.
MTAS is an option for students with the most
Majority of students take the MCA.
significant cognitive disabilities.
ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for English Learners
learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
Given annually to English learners in grades K12 in
reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Based on the WIDA English Language Development
Majority of English learners take ACCESS for ELLs.
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is an option for English
Minnesota Comprehensive
Assessment (MCA) and
Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS)
Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS)
Posted May 2018
Why are these assessments effective?
Minnesota believes that in order to effectively measure what
students are learning, testing needs to be more than
answering multiple choice questions.
To answer questions, students may need to type in
answers, drag and drop images and words, or manipulate a
graph or information.
The Reading and Mathematics MCAs are adaptive, which
means the answers a student provides determine the next
questions the student will answer.
The Science MCA incorporates simulations, which require
students to perform experiments in order to answer
All of
these provide students the opportunity to apply critical
thinking needed for success in college and careers and show
what they know and can do.
Are there limits on local testing?
As stated in Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.301, for
students in grades 16, the cumulative total amount of time
spent taking locally adopted districtwide or schoolwide
assessments must not exceed 10 hours per school year. For
students in grades 712, the cumulative total amount of
time spent taking locally adopted districtwide or schoolwide
assessments must not exceed 11 hours per school year.
These limits do not include statewide testing.
In an effort to encourage transparency, the statute also
requires a district or charter school, before the first day of
each school year, to publish on its website a comprehensive
calendar of standardized tests to be administered in the
district or charter school during that school year. The
calendar must provide the rationale for administering each
assessment and indicate whether the assessment is a local
option or required by state or federal law.
What if I choose not to have my student participate?
Parents/guardians have a right to not have their student
participate in state-required standardized assessments.
Minnesota Statutes require the department to provide
information about statewide assessments to parents/
guardians and include a form to complete if they refuse to
have their student participate. This form follows on the next
page and includes an area to note the reason for the refusal
to participate. Your student’s district may require additional
A school or district may have additional consequences
beyond those mentioned in this document for a student not
participating in the state-required standardized assessments.
There may also be consequences for not participating in
assessments selected and administered at the local level.
Please contact your school for more information regarding
local decisions.
When do students take the assessments?
Each school sets their testing schedule within the
state testing window. Contact your student’s
school for information on specific testing days.
The MCA and MTAS testing window begins in
March and ends in May.
The ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs
testing window begins at the end of January and
ends in March.
When do I receive my student’s results?
Each summer, individual student reports are sent
to school districts and are provided to families no
later than fall conferences. The reports can be
used to see your child’s progress and help guide
future instruction.
How much time is spent on testing?
Statewide assessments are taken one time each
year; the majority of students test online. On
average, the amount of time spent taking
statewide assessments is less than 1 percent of
instructional time in a school year. The
assessments are not timed and students can
continue working as long as they need.
Why does it seem like my student is taking
more tests?
The statewide required tests are limited to those
outlined in this document. Many districts make
local decisions to administer additional tests that
the state does not require. Contact your district for
more information
Where do I get more information?
Students and families can find out more on our
tatewide Testing page (education.state.mn.us >
Students and Families > Programs and Initiatives
> Statewide Testing).
Posted May 2018
(This form is only applicable for the 20 to
school year.)
Student’s Legal First Name Student’s Legal Middle Initial
Student’s Legal Last Name Student’s Date of Birth
Student’s District/School Grade
Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.31, subdivision 4a, requires the commissioner to create and
publish a form for parents and guardians to complete if they refuse to have their student
participate in state-required standardized assessments. Your student’s district may require
additional information. School districts must post this three page form on the district website
and include it in district student handbooks.
Parent/Guardian Refusal for Student Participation in Statewide Assessments
To opt out of statewide assessments, the parent/guardian must complete this form and return it to the student’s school.
To best support school district planning, please submit this form to the student’s school no later than January 15 of the academic
school year. For students who enroll after a statewide testing window begins, please submit the form within two weeks of
enrollment. A new refusal form is required each year parents/guardians wish to opt the student out of statewide assessments.
Please initial to indicate you have received and reviewed information about statewide testing.
I received information on statewide assessments and choose to opt my student out. MDE provides the
Parent/Guardian Guide and Refusal for Student Participation in Statewide Testing on the MDE website (Students and
Families > Programs and Initiatives > Statewide Testing).
son for refusal:
Please indicate the statewide assessment(s) you are opting the student out of this school year:
Reading MCA/MTAS Science
MCA/MTAS Mathematics
ACCESS or Alternate ACCESS for ELLs
Contact your school or district for the form to opt out of local assessments.
Parent/Guardian Name (print)
Parent/Guardian Signature
To be compl
eted by school or district staff only. Student ID or MARSS Number
I understand that by signing this form, my student will lose one opportunity to receive a qualifying score that could
potentially save him/her time and money by not having to take remedial, non-credit courses at a Minnesota State
college or university. My student will not receive an individual score and will be counted as not proficient for the
purpose of school and district accountability. My school and I may lose valuable information about how well my
student is progressing academically. In addition, refusing to participate in statewide ass
essments may impact the
school, district, and state’s efforts to equitably distribute resources and support student learning.
Posted May 2018
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