Opt Out Options

There is a growing level of concern expressed by educators, parents, policy makers and community members about the harmful impact and high-stakes nature of standardized testing associated with the Common Core State Standards.

Good tests should be used to guide instruction, helping teachers understand where students are excelling and where they need more work. But improving student learning and fairly assessing teacher quality should be based on a more broad and whole assessment.

According to a national study, more than a month of instructional time can be lost to test preparation and administration in a single school year. In a 2013 PDK/Gallup poll, 77 percent said increased testing has either hurt or made no difference in improving schools and in a 2014 PDK/Gallup poll, 68  percent of parents said standardized tests aren’t helpful to teachers.

Instead of spending millions of dollars on standardized tests, we should be investing in schools to give every child the opportunity to succeed. That means smaller class sizes and more funding for schools. State law allows parents to opt their students out from mandatory testing. Advocacy groups, like Oregon Save Our Schools, offer information on opting out here.

For educators who are concerned about the overuse and abuse of high-stakes testing, here are some legal guidelines on your rights and responsibilities.

Go here for more on student assessment.