#PHLEd: Does School District’s PSSA / Opt Out Pamphlet Go Far Enough?

Yesterday for the Raging Chicken Press, I reported that the Philadelphia School District would take actions when it came to informing parents about the right to opt children out of the PSSAs.

In an email with district officials, they stated:

  • Frequently Asked Questions – Information for Parents or Guardians
    • Provides an overview of the basics of the PSSA
    • Explains a parent’s right to “opt out” his/her student from testing in the “May parents see the assessments?” section

The Philadelphia School District did publish their documents on the PSSAs, but don’t get too overly excited when it comes to clearly explaining parents rights on opting students out of the exams.  The “May parents see the assessments?” section says:

Parents and guardians may review the assessment by making arrangements with the School Assessment Coordinator once the assessments arrived at the school.  Confidentiality agreements must be signed, and no copies of the assessment or notes about assessment items will be permitted to leave the school.

If after reviewing the test parents/guardians find the test to be in conflict with their religious belief and wish their student(s) to excused from the test, the parents/guardians must provide a written request that states the objection to the Superintendent or Chief Academic Officer.

This is obviously a carefully worded title and statement that doesn’t jump out of the pamphlet, but it does mention that those with religious exemptions can be excused from the test.  In my opinion, the pamphlet could have been more explicit when it came to publicizing parents rights.

Here’s the pamphlet below.  You be the judge and let us know.


PSSA Info for Parents

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About Sean Kitchen 681 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to sean@rcpress.org or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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1 Comment on #PHLEd: Does School District’s PSSA / Opt Out Pamphlet Go Far Enough?

  1. This is not an “opt out” document. What a disappointment! Clearly, parents and others need to spread the word that their kids will not be guinea pigs and that they will not be taking any such tests! Period.

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