Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Opt-Out Of Common Core Gaining Popularity

More parents than ever are opting their children out of Common Core tests. At Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, not a single junior took the Common Core standardized tests this spring. At four other Seattle high schools, district officials said 95 percent of juniors refused to take the tests. Seattle-area juniors boycotted tests because they are not needed in order to graduate from high school. Even the teachers at Nathan Hale High School planned to boycott the exams, but state and district officials quickly put a stop to that.

Washington is not the only state where Common Core is being challenged. The New York Times reported that about 150,000 out of over one million New York students opted out of testing in the spring of 2015, which is more than double last year’s number. In Idaho, the Madison School District’s board of trustees voted unanimously against giving students Common Core tests. But the superintendent and board reversed that decision after state officials claimed that the refusal to use Common Core tests could cost the state millions of dollars in funding.

Despite the controversy, 40 percent of Madison district parents opted their kids out of Common Core tests. The schools are planning to continue allowing alternative methods of assessment that do not burden the teachers or students with unnecessary tests. Students who opt out of standardized testing will still be allowed to pass on to the next grade level and to graduate. Other school districts and states should follow the example of these districts in Washington, New York, and Idaho. Opposition to Common Core has already benefitted students around the country, but many school districts still need to hear from concerned parents who are willing to stand up for the right of their child to an education that does not use Common Core tests.

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