- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The public school district in Ann Arbor is considering whether to require all students to take state exams and keep those who don’t out of some school programs.

The district’s Board of Education discussed the idea last month and is scheduled to vote on the policy at its June 10 meeting, The Ann Arbor News reported (https://bit.ly/1RIZHDw ).

Board President Deb Mexicotte said the proposed policy is under review and could see some changes at the meeting. Under the current proposal, students who don’t take the tests would be kept from district schools or programs that require an application to participate.

The proposal has been met with opposition from some parents. It could affect admissions to schools such as Ann Arbor Open School.

“The school board should not take away parents’ right to choose what is right for our children,” said Andrea Horvath, an Ann Arbor Open School parent.

The policy will not affect students who cannot take the test because of an emergency. The district already requires 11th grade students to take state assessments to graduate.

“We do not believe that requiring participation in state-mandated student assessments is an unreasonable or discriminatory requirement for participating in our district’s application-based schools,” Andy Thomas, school board secretary, said in a statement.

Students around the state this year took the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, known as the M-STEP, but some opted out. The exam replaces Michigan Educational Assessment Program, or MEAP, which students previously took each fall.

This year, nearly all of the district’s students took the M-STEP, Mexicotte said. One school had a substantial number of students who didn’t take it. District officials worry that if too many students opt out it could affect funding and performance measurements for their schools.

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Information from: The Ann Arbor News, https://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor

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