Mo. school officials: MAP test not optional

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Can my child opt out of taking the MAP test in Missouri? It's a questions that school officials say they are hearing now that MAP testing is upon us.

Some parents say the pressure is too much for the kids with no real benefit, but district officials disagree.

"My daughter gets real stressed out," said Debbie Jaco of her fourth grader. "She doesn't sleep, she doesn't eat."

Jaco says she spent Monday calling School officials on the local and national level to see if there was a way to keep her child from taking the test.

"They say she has to take it," said Jaco.

According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the test is a must.

"Based on No Child Left Behind, opting out of the MAP test is not an option," said Pat Fanger, assistant superintendent for Cape Girardeau Public Schools.

Fanger says even if a parent doesn't send their child to school on testing day, MAP make ups are given. In Cape, missing too many days leads to educational neglect charges.

"Some kids get intimidated on any testing day," said Fanger. "We understand that but it helps out the school and the district and also the child to take the test. We get valuable information on how well that child is learning," said Fanger.

As for Jaco, she says she will send her daughter to school on the designated testing days, but she feels there has to be a better way to measure progress for students and schools.

"They should change the policy," said Jaco.

MAP testing runs from March 28 through April 22.

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