California Law Allows Opting out of Tests
(From Susan Harman) 
The reference is Title 5 of the CA
Code of Regulations, Division 1, Chapter 2, Subchapter 3.75
"Standardized Testing and Reporting Program", Section 852, (a).
Its under "more about STAR" on the SED website.
"A parent or guardian may submit to the school a written request to
excuse his or her child from any or all parts of any test provided
pursuant to Ed Code Section 60640 [a STAR is born}. The parent or
guardian must initiate the request and the school district and its
employees shall not solicit or encourage any written request on
behalf of any child."
The law is this:
California Education Code Section 60615.  "Notwithstanding any
provision of law, a parent's or guardian's written request to school
officials to excuse his or her child from any or all parts of the
assessments administered pursuant to this chapter shall be granted."> 
I first talked with Linda Lownes (916-654-5371) in SED who said that
districts may inform parents of this right, but they dont have to; that
any announcement must be in the same wording to all parents in the
district [for equity's sake]; and that the district may not send out a
form letter for parents to use. She couldnt give me a reference for
this, but instead told me it had been said to administrators at
Then I talked with Les Axelrod (916-657-5198) in the Department, who
said he was speaking for the Department's lawyer (Carolyn Pirrillo,
916-657-2453) and he said the Regulation is what there is; ie, the
things said to administrators arent written down anywhere.
So it seems to me that teachers are allowed to inform but not solicit or
encourage parents to opt out. It also seems to me that means we need to
organize advocates and parents to do the soliciting and encouraging.