Making Sense of the Opt-Out Movement

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Education Next talks with Scott Levy and Jonah Edelman



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FALL 2016 / VOL. 16, NO. 4

ednext_XVI_4_forum_img01Over the past few years, students by the thousands have refused to take their state’s standardized tests. This “opt-out” phenomenon has prompted debate in state legislatures and in Washington, putting states at risk of losing Title I funds. Advocates describe opt-out as a grassroots movement of parents concerned about overtesting, teaching to the test, and a lack of transparency. Others oppose opt-out, viewing universal standardized testing as an important source of information for educators, students, and parents and a necessary tool for ensuring equity in public education.

Scott Levy, a New York State public-school parent and local school board member, and Jonah Edelman, cofounder and CEO of Stand for Children, a national organization advocating for college and career readiness for all, draw different conclusions in their analyses of the topic.

• “Opt-Out Reflects the Genuine Concerns of Parents,” by Scott Levy

• “This Issue Is Bigger Than Just Testing,” By Jonah Edelman




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