Last year, four families at Brooklyn New School opted out of standardized testing. This year 225 of the school’s 306 students had opted out as of March 31, just before testing was to begin. Students opted out at nearby schools at a rate of 70% or more. A grassroots opt-out campaign organized by Brooklyn parents has yielded a record number of test refusals for this year’s 3rd – 8th grade state-mandated math and English exams, according to a press alert.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo told News 12 in Brooklyn that under the new state budget, Common Core-aligned test scores will not be permanent on transcripts for students from third through eighth grade until 2018. This statement fails to address major concerns of the national opt out movement: narrowness of content and how the concentration on testing affects non-tested subjects including social studies and science, cost of the tests, time young children are expected to sit for the tests, and the inappropriate use of the instruments for evaluating teachers.
Shortly after the Brooklyn protest statement, the United Opt Out website was attacked by hackers. Volunteers are struggling to recreate files.
See also “Standing up to testing” in March 30, NY Times. Look for more on this topic on an upcoming edition of the Education Town Hall and search “opt out” on this blog for resources shared by previous guests.
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