Opting Out

Just Say No to the Test

“Opting out” of testing is a powerful way to resist No Child Left Behind and the way standardized testing distorts and corrupts K-12 classrooms. Growing numbers of parents, teachers and students are questioning the value of federal, state and district testing, saying they want to exercise the right to opt out, boycott or refuse.

FairTest and allied organizations like United Opt Out have information and materials you can use to refuse the tests and help build the movement to end high-stakes testing.

  • United Opt Out National’s web sitehas a drop-down menu with state-by-state information on opting out. It includes state laws and policies, form letters you can use, and state contacts. Members of this site are parents, educators, students and social activists who are dedicated to the elimination of high stakes testing in public education.
  • FairTest has knowledgeable contacts in most states. Their names and contact information are listed HERE. We list United Opt Out state contacts as well.
  • Despite what some say to discourage opting out, your school will not lose money if you opt out of testing. Read our “Why You Can Boycott Standardized Tests Without Fear of Federal Penalties to Your School” fact sheet, HERE.
  • FairTest follows the growing opt out and boycott actions. Every week we post a collection of news clips about the national testing resistance and reform movement HERE. You can sign up to get them delivered to your email address HERE.
  • Act Now: A Testing Reform Guide covers opting out and many other forms of action you can engage in to build resistance and reform. Find it HERE.
  • See this guide to organizing by Jeanette Deutermann, leader of the hugely successful Long Island Opt Out.
  • See also FairTest fact sheets on testing, resistance and alternatives, HERE, and FairTest’s report on No Child Left Behind, HERE.
Federal_law_related_to_opting_out_-final.pdf178.95 KB
GeneralOptOutGuidewFormLetter.pdf269.13 KB