Behind the Headline: House Could Vote on Parent’s Right to Opt Out of Tests Under ESEA



By 07/06/2015

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On Top of the News
House Could Vote on Parent’s Right to Opt Out of Tests Under ESEA
7/6/15 | Ed Week Politics K-12 blog

Behind the Headline
Four Lessons from the Opt-Out Debate
5/18/15 | Education Next blog

As the House turns its attention back to ESEA reauthorization, an amendment introduced by Rep. Matt Salmon (R. – Ariz.) would allow parents to opt their children out of state standardized tests without hurting the school for accountability purposes, Alyson Klein notes. Klein writes

It’s easy to see how the amendment—if it’s allowed to be offered—would generate bipartisan support. At one point, it looked like Congress might limit the number of tests mandated under the NCLB law (that’s annual tests in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school, plus science tests in certain grades). That idea got nixed in order to bring forward a bipartisan compromise, but the anti-testing crowd might see this amendment as the next best thing.

And it’s equally easy to see how this might make the civil rights community, which already hates the House bill and isn’t wild about the Senate’s bipartisan legislation, really uneasy. After all, couldn’t a school encourage parents of, say, English-language learners who might not perform so well on assessments, to keep them home on testing day?

Last week, Stephen Sawchuk reported that delegates to this year’s NEA Representative Assembly approved a resolution which directs the union to draft model legislative language that would prevent districts from punishing students who opt out of standardized tests.

Fore more on the opt-out phenomenon:

Matt Chingos crunched the numbers from New York last month to try to figure out what kinds of school districts tend to have high opt-out rates.

And Robert Pondiscio has identified”Four Lessons from the Opt-Out Debate.”

– Education Next




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