Common Core Opt-Out Debate: Parents Fight For Standardized Testing Rights

Jul 15, 2015 by

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More than 40 states use Common Core, a national set of English and math guidelines that dictate what students should be able to do at certain grade levels.

On a recent Thursday morning designated for testing at his Colorado middle school, Jack Spiegel commenced to following what had become his daily routine: He woke up, got dressed by 6:45 a.m., sat down the kitchen table and ate a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats. But then the sixth grader broke from his normal course of events — and school administrators’ expectations — by staying home. Jack and his other school-aged siblings would not be among the students taking their annual exams, his mother decided.

“I wrote a letter just saying they’re not going to participate,” Ilana Spiegel said later that day. “The laws are immoral and [unjust] and are hurting kids. People aren’t listening to parents and educators and students…this was the only thing to do.”

Jack’s mom is not alone when it comes to that train of thought. Though there’s no official count, hundreds of thousands of students across the country reportedly opted out of spring standardized tests based on controversial Common Core standards, which were instituted not long ago throughout most of the country. Because there’s no legal precedent for this, some students were disciplined. Federal aid was threatened. But now, as scores were calculated in the summertime lull, lawmakers from Colorado to Maine were pushing state legislation that would secure parents’ rights to keep their kids from taking the tests. They argue the so-called opt-out bills not only get families involved in the discussion around the contentious educational initiative but also give them a chance to start taking it down.

Source: Common Core Opt-Out Debate: Parents Fight For Standardized Testing Rights

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