Senate Rejects Amendment to Permit Parents to Opt Out of Federally-Mandated Tests Without Penalty

Diane Ravitch's blog

Emma Brown reports in The Washington Post that the Senate turned down an amendment that would have allowed parents to opt out of federally mandated tests without penalty.

The lead author of the Senate bill said that this decision should be left to states.

The chamber voted 64 to 32 against the amendment, proposed by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) amid a backlash against mandated standardized tests. “Parents, not politicians or bureaucrats, will have the final say over whether individual children take tests,” he said.

But Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) — the Republican co-sponsor of the carefully crafted bipartisan bill — spoke forcefully against the proposal, saying it would strip states of the right to decide whether to allow parents to opt out.

“I say to my Republican friends, do we only agree with local control when we agree with the local policy?” said Alexander, who has framed the bill as…

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