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City students warned against opting out of assessment tests

Students in the Buffalo Public Schools whose parents keep them out of state assessment tests could hurt their chances of getting into their desired high school, according to a letter issued to parents Wednesday by Interim Superintendent Donald A. Ogilvie.

Ogilvie points out in the letter, posted on the district’s website and referenced in automated calls to parents Wednesday, that state guidelines allow school districts to include state assessment test results as “one of various measures used to determine admissions into schools.”

Several city high schools, including City Honors, Frederick Law Olmsted and Leonardo DaVinci, use assessment data “as one of multiple sources of information” in weighing which students will be admitted, according to the district statement.

“Those schools will be unable to assign a value to a portion of the student profile if a student refuses to complete the most recent state assessments administered at the time of application,” Ogilvie’s letter states.

“If a state assessment score does not exist for a student, the lack of this assigned value, while not disqualifying the student, will impact the student’s admission profile,” it adds. “This result would be the same for students who attended a prior school in which assessments were not administered or who attended a school in which no similar assessment data exists.”