Student Assessment & Opt-Out Rights

Quality assessment information should be used to guide instruction in classrooms. Assessment information helps students and teachers know where they are in their learning, where they need to go, and help them achieve that learning goal. OEA and partners put forth a vision of a quality, balanced system of assessment in July 2015 with the publication of “A New Path for Oregon: System of Assessment to Support Student Learning.”

This paper has since been the north star for OEA’s work on assessment. OEA has taken the lead on several major initiatives to create a more balanced system and decrease the impact of Oregon’s current summative test, the Smarter Balanced Assessment. OEA continues to advocate at the state and local policy level to increase family opt out rights and minimize the use of Smarter Balanced Assessment results to make high-stakes decisions.


Oregon families have the right to opt students out of taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment in math and English language arts.

Families can access the current information about opt out from the Oregon Department of Education. Additionally, OEA has developed materials to help local communities organize around assessment.

Download our Assessment Organizing Toolkit:


  • Educators (teachers and other staff) have a free speech right to share their opinions about assessment and opt out as individuals during NON-WORK hours.
  • Educators can direct students and families to online resources or provide factual information about the law during work hours if asked to do so.
  • School districts can determine educator speech during work hours to be disruptive to district policy or educational processes.

The 2019-20 combined 30-day notice and opt-out form for the statewide English language arts and Mathematics assessments is now available on the ODE website. School districts and public charter schools must use this 30-day notice and opt-out form provided by ODE to communicate with all parents about state testing requirements and their right to opt-out by December 6, 2019. Access the form here (click to expand the 'Forms' section).

If you suspect a school or district leader is actively impeding a family's right to opt out of standardized testing, please report this to OEA. Your union is dedicated to continuing to advocate for the rights of all Oregon families.

OEA can provide speakers to share factual information about Oregon's state testing opt out laws to your colleagues, families, or other groups who would benefit from the information. Please complete the form to request a speaker.

If you're an OEA member, you can access OEA's Opt Out Speakers' Bureau materials through NEA360 EdCommunities, in our Quality Assessment Practices: OEA group.

Speaker Request Form

Fill out my online form.