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Advocates: Opt Out Movement is 'About More Than Tests'

Advocates: Opt Out Movement is 'About More Than Tests'

As test season approaches, more parents and students may be opting out of taking the federally mandated standardized tests. While the opt-out movement has accelerated, some leaders are saying it's spurred on by more than just issues with Common Core State Standards and standardized tests themselves. 

According to Tim Slekar, leader of the United Opt Out movement in Wisconsin, the "opt-out movement is not an anti-testing movement," he said in an article on USNews.com. 

"This is a movement to reclaim and do what's right for kids in public schools," he said. "This is a movement to restore real learning."

According to Slekar, "spending on standards and tests has taken away from funding music and arts programs, for example, and could be better allocated elsewhere."

"Why are the standards – the first ones we set – not, 'All kids will come to school not hungry, not sick and with access to books?'" Slekar said, according to the article. "Those are some great standards, but yet those standards we're not allowed to go after. A place for testing is when it is given back to the classroom teacher. Politicians have no business of being in the testing, teaching and learning business. They're the ones to blame for the fact that we have an increasing achievement gap. They're responsible for the absolute disaster we see in some of our poorer public schools."

Peggy Robertson, former teacher and administrator at United Opt Out also shared insight on why the opt out movement isn't just against Common Core State Standards.

"As a teacher, we know developmentally some kids might not learn to read until the second grade," she said in the article. "It's not like when a kid can’t walk you push them harder to walk. You wait and allow them to walk as they’re ready. Under Common Core, if you’re not reading at a particular level in kindergarten … you’re already being told you’re a failure. When you place these artificial standards on children and force them to comply to it, you set them up to hate learning and to hate reading."

Read the full story and comment below. Are just a few parents opting out in your school or has the opt out option swelled to a large number?

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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