Standardized test backlash: More parents pull kids from exams as protest

May 1, 2015 by

student_protest_ii[1]

For parents fed up with the growing numbers of tests and the increasingly high stakes, ‘opting out’ is now the popular form of protest. Critics say it aims at the wrong target and ignores importance of data gleaned.

By Amanda Paulson –It had never really occurred to Chantal Kovach to keep her fifth-grade son from taking Colorado’s new annual assessments, until an e-mail started circulating among parents.

Ms. Kovach became concerned that the test would be measuring material her son’s class hadn’t covered yet, that the results wouldn’t be available to his teacher until the fall. She also was worried that the class would have to devote significant hours to taking the test, and then more hours later in the spring taking other tests on the material they had studied.

But it wasn’t until she went to the teacher, wondering if it might still be useful to her son as practice, that she made up her mind.

“The feedback I got was that only when an educated group of parents takes a stand against this colossal waste of time will anything change,” says Kovach, who kept her son home in March and will do so again next week and in May, and says many other parents at her Boulder, Colo., elementary school are doing the same.

For a segment of parents fed up with the growing numbers of tests and the increasingly high stakes placed on their scores, “opting out” is now the popular form of protest. And in certain states and communities, the movement is gaining steam, with large percentages of parents and students sitting out required exams. With schools required by current federal law to test at least 95 percent of their populations, the burgeoning opt-out numbers raise the possibility of federal sanctions.

But what some see as important grass-roots protest against a testing regime they say has become too onerous and that has negative effects on children and education, others say is misguided, a protest that stems from understandable frustration but that aims at the wrong target, and that ignores the important information gained from such tests.

Source: Standardized test backlash: More parents pull kids from exams as protest – CSMonitor.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.