Today it was confirmed to me by Wanda Davis of the SC. Dept of Education that it is NOT the State’s mandate that the SC Ready Test be placed in front of the child on the testing dates and that the child has to verbally refuse the test.
This means that Superintendent Danny Merck has lied to me.
He sent me the following message when I inquired about why the schools were telling parents in Pickens that their child will have to verbally refuse the test and their parental letter of intent to refuse on behalf of their child is not enough.
"At present, SC requires its schools to administer certain tests to students, and our state does not have a formal “opt-out” provision. From time to time, we do have students who refuse to test. Refusing to test is different from opting-out of testing. Districts must make an attempt to test all students who are required to take state tests. If the student is present at school the day of the test or during the testing window, we must attempt to test. The SCDE has told us that we would have to offer the assessment to the student. Offering the assessment means that the assessment must be put in front of the student for an attempt to test. SDPC would deal with a refusal to test in the least disruptive way possible by handling each case individually based on the circumstances. In some cases, a student may be moved to an alternate location while in other cases the student may have to quietly remain in the testing site. The school administration and testing coordinator will have to make that call based on the availability of staff members for monitoring students and administering the test. Like the email Ms. Raines received from the state said, it may not be possible for a school to provide instruction during that time due to constraints with their staffing and duties.
Please note that students who refuse to test will be not receive a score for the assessment. It is important to note that in the case of High School End-of-Course Exams, the state test accounts for 20% of a student’s final grade and without that score, the final grade would be impacted."
Not only did the Superintendent lie to me …it is my opinion they are breaking the Safe Schools Act that was passed back during Gov. Mark Sanford’s term. Which states,
“Since students learn by example, school administrators, faculty, staff, and volunteers should be commended for demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation, or bullying.”
I have contacted a law firm for advice.
submitted by: Johnnelle Raines