The Testing Opt-Out Option is on the Rise

Students_taking_computerized_exam

Here is an interesting article at Education Week:

The latest bit of evidence suggesting this showed up yesterday in Massachusetts. The WorcesterTelegram & Gazette reports that some parents want their children to sit out the PARCC field tests, which are scheduled to begin next month. Some members of the local school committee think district policy permits such "opt outs," but district leaders—and state officials—argue that it’s a no-choicer.

A legislative committee in Colorado has just been charged with the huge job of analyzing the state’s assessment system for a possible revamping. One of its tasks? Looking into parent opt-outs,according to Chalkbeat Colorado.

Just a couple of months ago, the school board in Albuquerque rejected a proposal—which had been unsurprisingly denounced by the state—that would have sent parents a letter outlining their "opt out" options.

The fact is that most states in PARCC or Smarter Balanced do have opt-out options.  At the Federal level Congress should pass a law stating that parents can opt-out of assessments since there is confusion whether or not No Child Left Behind mandates student participation.  The simple fact, however, is that No Child Behind doesn’t allow OR prohibit opting-out for assessments.

Photo credit: Michael Surran (CC-By-SA 2.0)

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