Parent and Student Resources » Opt Outs for Testing

Opt Outs for Testing

State of Oregon plans to ask for temporary pause in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science testing

The public is welcome to comment on this planned annual testing waiver request by the state between the dates of December 1-15, 2020. Every year in the spring, the U.S. Department of Education requires states to measure student learning by administering a set of tests in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science.

In 2020-21, traditional schooling has been significantly disrupted by events like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and an extreme wildfire season. Therefore, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) plans to ask for a temporary pause in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science testing.

You can access the Assessment Team’s Communication webpage to read the full version of ODE’s waiver request or watch a short video explaining the waiver request.

The public is welcome to comment on this planned waiver request between the dates of December 1-15, 2020. Please send your feedback, questions, or concerns to

Opt Outs for Testing Information

In 2010, Oregon adopted higher K-12 standards in English Language Arts and Math to ensure all students move from grade to grade with the academic knowledge and skills necessary for success beyond high school. Because we raised the bar for what we expect students to know and be able to do, we have also changed the way we measure student progress through our state tests, known as Smarter Balanced. 


  • Challenge your child to think critically and apply his or her knowledge to real-world problems 
  • Go beyond multiple choice and ask your child to explain his or her answers 
  • Act as a snapshot of your child’s progress and may be considered along with other pieces of information to determine your child’s academic success 
  • Help identify schools and districts that need additional supports to ensure more students are meeting higher standards 

2019-20 30-Day Notice for Statewide Tests 

How much time do the tests take?

The tests are not timed, so your child can take as long as he or she needs to fully demonstrate what he or she knows and can do. With our current exams, your child only tests once each year, unlike our previous exams which many students took multiple times. Learn more about the estimated time your child may take to complete the tests on page 33 of Oregon’s Test Administration Manual:

What do the results mean and where do I get my child’s results?

Test results identify your child’s strengths and areas for improvement in English Language Arts and Math. Each subject will be broken into categories and will show how well your child performed in each area. The tests measure student learning on a continuous scale. The state has set four achievement levels along this scale that generally describe where students are. Your school will share your child’s scores with you at the beginning of the next school year to help support your child’s success as he or she moves from grade to grade. 

Why does participation matter?

While no single test can give a complete picture of your child’s progress, having your child take the statewide tests provides educators and administrators with information about what educational approaches are working and where additional resources are needed. Your child’s participation is important to ensure schools and districts receive the targeted resources they need to help all students succeed. 

When are the testing windows for 2019-20?

  • Smarter Balanced English Language Arts & Math Tests January 7 – June 5, 2020 
  • Oregon Extended Assessments for English Language Arts & Math January 7 – June 5, 2020 

Your child will be tested once after he or she has completed at least two-thirds of the school year. Your child’s school will determine the specific dates your child takes the tests within the statewide testing window above. Talk to your child’s teacher or school principal if you have questions or want to learn more. 

Resources To learn more about what your child should know and be able to do in English Language Arts & Math: & To view sample test questions: To read more about your child’s test results:

Information from the Oregon Department of Education