Oregon School Board Encourages Opt-Out of Smarter Balanced

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The Springfield School District school board in Oregon voted for a resolution this week that encourages parents to opt their children out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

The Register-Guard reports:

Calling the test an “ineffective measure of student growth and accountability,” the five-member board unanimously approved a statement recommending that parents and guardians “strongly consider exercising their right” under state law to “opt out their student from the Smarter Balanced test.”

Board Chairman Jonathan Light said the test was never created for students’ benefit.

“It was designed to compare districts and teachers, not to help students learn,” he said. “As a board member, I just don’t feel like it’s OK to encourage our students to participate in something that doesn’t help them in any way.”

Light said he wants other districts to follow suit.

“I really feel like school boards have to stand up for what’s right for their students,” Light said. “We all need to come together and say something. If we could all do it, it would make a huge difference.”

A state law passed last June gives parents the right to opt out their children for at least the next six school years. It requires schools to notify parents and students of that right at the start of each year.

It is one thing for a school district notify parents about opting out, it’s quite another to see a school board encourage parents to opt their student out of Smarter Balanced. Good for them. I do hope other school districts follow suit!