Testing Opt Out: Parent Wants Conference; School Calls Police *Just in Case*


One of the great contradictions within corporate ed reform is the promoting of a “parental choice” that stops short of the parent’s choice to opt his or her children out of federal- and state-mandated standardized testing.

Once could easily argue that the states cower to the federal requirement for standardized testing related to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Title I funding. Indeed, the latest ESEA reauthorization, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), requires states to test 95 percent of their students in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school– and to offer proof of a remediation plan for schools and districts that do not produce that 95 percent.

Meanwhile, the ESSA document includes disclaimers about state-level opt-out procedures being shaped by federal testing requirements.

The federal testing requirement-coupled-with-disclaimer puts pressure on states to somehow make districts and schools deliver a 95-percent testing rate. The federal pressure…

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