Parents Are Opting Kids Out of Standardized Testing -- Would You? (VIDEO)

Video 13

Standardized TestWe're not big fans of standardized testing at my house. The tests stress out teachers and their students, they take up time that could be spent on more interesting class projects, and they leave me worrying that my kids are being taught to take a test, rather than love learning.

I'm hardly alone in my feelings. Parents across the nation are fed up with the emphasis on standardized testing in many school districts, and more and more of them are taking a radical step. They're opting out.

Here's what some of these parents had to say about their decision:

If you haven't already been reading opt out stories in the news, you will soon. More and more parents are hearing about the idea and fighting back against standardized testing in their own districts:

-Parent and teacher groups in Minnesota are considering campaigns against standardized testing.

-More parents in Virginia are opting their kids out of the state's standardized tests.

-Some teachers in Seattle actually refused to administer their district's standardized tests, prompting the district to allow high schools to opt out of standardized testing as long as they could show evidence of another way of monitoring students' progress.

With so many parents, teachers, and school administrators admitting that standardized tests are a problem, you can expect to see many more stories like these in the months and years to come.

Want to learn more about opting out in your area? Several websites will help you find out about your state's rules and regulations, including FairTest and United Opt Out National.


Image via Alberto G./Flickr



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Senia... Seniahmom

I would. I know of schools where friends teach and they take multiple. That's ridiculous and a waste if classroom time. I don't even think they should be annual.

Twice, maybe 3x before high school, one of which is 7 or 8th grade. Then the PSAT sophomore year. Then the ACT junior year. Done.

My friends spend so much time & energy teaching to a test that only nominally gauges learning. I am an awesome test taker. Always have been. My brother monumentally sucked at standardized tests. But we got similar grades in school, just had different strengths. My other brother was a straight A student but generally scored just above average. My sister wasn't a good test taker either but got average grades. Four kids, same family and if you looked at us by standardized tests alone you'd be wrong about our learning capabilities and our successes (and failures).

nonmember avatar Calimom

My kids are 5 and 4 and as of right now I think I'll skip these tests.. I might change my mind when the time comes but so far I'm pretty set on skipping it. I think they're very flawed in the way they work for a lot of reasons, one of which seniahmom already pointed out. I'll do a bit more research and speak with their teachers but as I said I'm 95% sure we will skip this.

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

Grow up. Your kid will have to sit standardised tests eventually. Deal with it. You think college grades on who can draw the prettiest unicorn? The education system basically requires you to be able to beat the system, so you'd want to get them started early.

Sjb646 Sjb646

To opt out of these test would be a detriment to your child.  Colleges and work places are set up around these tests.  Just because you want to spare your child some hurt feelings if they do bad will only hold them back later. Schools are able to track and educate our children because of them.  I am not saying they are perfect but it is our way of life in this country so you better sharpen those #2s!!

Marcela Blunck Bowidowicz

As a recent college grad, I highly doubt that opting out of standardized testing would "hurt" a child in any way. If you're concerned about SATS or GRES just do practice tests in advance so your child becomes used to that particular system. There is all of zero reason to take those dumb tests every year. 

paigeR11 paigeR11

I will absolutely be opting my daughter out of standardized tests.  I live in test crazy Texas and the number of tests students have to take beginning in 3rd grade is ridiculous.  As a teacher, I also see how much of the school year is spend focusing on preparing for and then taking these tests which in no way shows whether a student has mastered an objective or whether a student is ready for college.  I am okay with tests like the SAT and ACT because they have been around long enough to show validity.  Tests like STAAR (which is the Texas state tests) are created by Pearson (which is a British company).  Pearson got a half billion dollar deal to make these tests and at last count students in grades 3-8 are taking 17 tests before they can go to high school.  17 tests!!!!  At least in Texas, standardized testing is big business which in know way reflects a students'actual learning. 

femal... femaleMIKE

If the test taking is part of the school program my son will one day attend then he will have to the test. 

I can remember taking these "tests" in school.  I was a lazy child who did not take them seriously.  I would just randomly pick any of the choices, turn over my test and read my book.  :)

Jilectan Jilectan

We homeschool, so this isn't really a problem for us. OTOH, we know that the local school district was doing standardized testing for weeks on end at the end of this last school year. It seemed a little overboard, the amount of testing they were doing.

LadyM... LadyMinni

I'm going to be opting my children into the tests, since they'll be home schooled. It's preparation for college, when you can't opt out of the tests or you fail the course. They're also the only way we have to measure what a child has learned. No they aren't perfect, but they're the best we've got.

The real issue shouldn't be standardized tests, it should be standardizing cirriculum across the country (with the exception of state history) and then making truly standard standardized tests.

kckcm2 kckcm2

Standardized tests are NOTHING like the tasting that happens on college. If I could emphasize that any harder I would. So don't go gung ho for these tests thinking that this is what you kids will see in college, it isn't. Professors test based on curriculum they determine, not as defined by a state or outsourced company to measure average intelligence. Standardized testing is an awful way to prepare your kid for college. They learn how to take standard tests and fail to learn how to take curriculum tests based on actual subject matter.

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