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New York DOE Reveals Official Opt-Out Numbers, Experts Debate Implications

New York DOE Reveals Official Opt-Out Numbers, Experts Debate the Implications

Today, the New York State Department of Education released the official numbers of students who opted-out from last spring's state exams, revealing that 20 percent of all New York students did not take the exams. As a result, education experts argue that the results from students who did take the exams are unusuable.

The "20 percent equates to roughly 200,000, echoing earlier estimates of the considerable number of students who opted out and far larger than the 5 percent who sat out the test the year before. The total did not grow but hearing it confirmed was enough to feed the ongoing concern of test proponents and for testing foes to call the results skewed," said the The74Million.org.

The release of the data also provided conclusive information about the demographic of the students that were more likely to opt-out: white students with lower test scores from less needy areas.

This finding echoes earlier studies from experts and researchers that linked the opt-out movement to affluent communities.

Many are in agreement that due to the unprecedented opt out numbers in New York, it is impossible to interpret the test scores of students who sat for the exams.

“'It would be a huge mistake to read anything into these test results. Whether they’re up or down, they tell us virtually nothing meaningful about students or their teachers,' New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee said in a statement, according to The74Million.org.

Proponents of standardized testing champion the dismissal of using testing scores to evaluate teachers and student progress, but opponents argue that not testing is detrimental to minority and low-income students as no measurable data means no tangible way to fix what's wrong.

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

08/13/2015

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