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Parents Nationwide 'Revolt' Against Standardized Testing

Parents Nationwide 'Revolt' Against Standardized Testing

As spring approaches, more parents across the country are opting out of Common Core-aligned standardized tests. Some may call this a revolt.

Parents who are opting out of the standardized tests are arguing that "civil disobedience is the best way to change what they say is a destructive overemphasis on tests in the nation’s public schools," according to an article on WashingtonPost.com.

"The resistance comes as most states roll out new tests aligned to the 'Common Core' academic standards and as Congress struggles to rewrite the federal law that has defined the role of testing in schools for the past decade," the article said.

According to the article, parents opting out of tests "say that their children are losing valuable learning time as teachers prepare them for the exams, which some find of dubious value. In pulling their children out of exams, they see an opportunity to make a statement that they hope will force a course change on testing in statehouses and in Washington, though the symbolic act itself doesn’t get their children any additional instruction."

“What I’m hearing from the opt-out parents is maybe this is the last chance to get the legislature’s attention,” said Mark Neal, an Ohio superintendent who is an outspoken critic of the new Common Core tests, according to the article.

Neal, the article said, "pulled his own son, a third-grader, out of PARCC testing this year — one of the Common Core exams — as did the parents of more than 20 percent of students who were supposed to take tests in his small district east of Columbus."

“We’ve never had anything like this before,” Neal said. “We’ve never had this many tests, we’ve never spent this much time testing.”

According to the article, "state education officials around the country have been urging families to allow students to sit for tests, arguing that the exams provide information that schools need in order to improve and that parents need in order to understand a child’s academic progress."

"We hope that parents will want their children to take the test. And not just because it’s required. This is a chance for children to shine, to show what they’ve learned, and — in the bigger picture — do something that will even help improve their hometown schools,” said Michael Yaple, a spokesman for the state education department in New Jersey, which began administering PARCC this week, the article said.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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