South Dakota Medical Exemptions from Testing: Coma or Death

According to the South Dakota Accountability Workbook, the school, not you, can make a request for medical exemption from statewide accountability exams. What are those medical exemptions?

  • Students with very serious, chronic, and fragile medical conditions can and do participate successfully in statewide assessment. However, there are rare and unique situations in which a student is unable to participate in any part of statewide assessment due to a serious and fully incapacitating medical emergency or an emotional trauma of similar severity and incapacitating nature (see below). Such decisions must be made with the greatest care and restraint. Every student has the right to participate in statewide assessment in order to show what he or she knows and is able to do as compared to state curriculum standards.
  • Medical Emergency: In rare instances, a student may be unable to participate in any part of the assessment due to a significant and documented and fully incapacitating medical emergency that extends through the end of the testing window. Examples of significant medical emergency include: a serious car accident, hospitalization, severe emotional trauma, or placement in hospice care.
  • Medical emergencies of this kind must be identified and verified in writing by a licensed physician and kept on file by the local district. In order to qualify for state-approved special consideration, the incident or condition must be so severe as to prevent the student from participating in instruction offered either at school or at home through the end of the testing window.
  • Rule of Thumb: If the student can receive instruction; the student can participate in statewide assessment.

And if the condition is severe enough, that a child must be kept home, but the child can blink once for yes and twice for no, (receiving instruction) the school can come to your home and require the child to take the assessment?

According to the state, unless a child is in a coma or dying, they must take the assessment and the school is to go to whatever lengths necessary to make sure they do.

This brings up so many questions, concerns and contradictions raised while reading this form. The school – not the student – is asking for the exemption from the State?!  It’s the student’s “right” to test?!  I have a right to vote but I can’t be forced to vote – I don’t have to get an exemption if I don’t vote!!! These exemptions are granted after the testing period is over . . . what happens if they DON’T grant the exemption?  What right do they have to all of this medical and personal information?!

This kind of regimental testing is not about knowledge. It’s about control. It’s about power. It’s about data. It is certainly not about what is in the best interest of the child.

South Dakota Medical Exemptions

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