Defending the administration of statewide standardized testing to all students regardless of parents’ Constitutional rights to refuse tests, the Wyoming Attorney General office under Peter K. Michael rendered the opinion that parents have no right to opt their children out of testing. In essence, it is illegal for parents to refuse the mandatory standardized testing in Wyoming.
The opinion was elicited from an inquiry by former Director of Education Rich Crandall to clarify the legality of test refusals because of the number of opt out requests school districts were receiving. Crandall asked the attorney general to release an opinion on whether federal or state law prevented schools from consenting to the opt-out requests.
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The AG response was released on August 27th, 2014 and can be read here.
So are parental rights a thing of the past in Wyoming? Citing the 2011 Wyoming Education Accountability Act, the attorney general ruled that the State Board of Education has the authority to require all students to take the tests. Based on the attorney general’s opinion, parents no longer have the right to direct the education of their child in Wyoming schools—even if they believe that high stakes testing is not in the best interest of their children.