I write about my minions from time to time.  If you've been following along you might recall minion anecdotes from posts such as The One With the Rain, Man! and Half Tutorial, Half Rant, Half Bad at Math, but All Good in Showing You the IEP Process  and that's just some of the craziness we deal with here in Autism land.

Today I'm touching on another silly thing called the PSSA's.  Pennsyltucky uses a standardized testing system for their no child left behind compliance as well as a determinate factor in school funding.  What you may not know is that your child's school has probably spent the last month or more not teaching your child new material because they are reviewing for the PSSA's (or whatever your states testing is).

I'm sure you're all aware at how dismal our education system is in comparison to the rest of the world, so you should be horrified that the school spends a month or more at the beginning of the year reviewing old material and another month or more doing it again.

The school tells you as parents, and also tells your children that they are required to take the tests.  That's not quite true.  You as a parent have the right to use PA Code 4.4 and exempt your child for religious reasons.  I don't know about you, but my God(s) wouldn't think putting my autistic child through a test that would upset and confuse him, give him anxiety, not follow his IEP and generally destroy his week is a good idea.  Would yours?
Your child can also simply refuse to take them.  They cannot be persecuted for it by anyone as per PA Code  Title 22 Chapter 4, section 4.24.  They also can't be told they won't graduate or pass if they don't take it.  As with everything else directly concerning them, they have the right to say no.

I know you as parents may not care about one test that takes up a few days out of the year to take.  I do hope you care about the month to month and a half of learning your child is missing out on because of a nonsense test.

Explore your rights and exercise them!

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