Should kids opt out of standardized tests?

“A group with the seemingly paradoxical name of United Opt Out National is holding a convention in Denver this weekend, encouraging parents to keep their children from taking standardized tests in school,” writes NPR reporter Alan Greenblatt.

“So far, their numbers are small. But educators and policymakers who rely on the tests are starting to get nervous,” he adds.

Today’s Question: Should kids opt out of standardized tests?

  • Joe

    Opt out? How can that be abused? We need vouchers to make our OWN standardized tests!

  • PaulJ

    Sorry, fill out those bubbles. We haven’t the money to individualize your educational bench marking.

  • Pearly

    Opt out? You mean just quit or give up?

    • Joe

      Opt out does seem a little silly, it should be all or none. Either enforce the standards, or scrap the standards in the first place. The second one is probably more efficient and less costly. Nonetheless that analogy is pretty funny.

  • whitedoggie44

    Does this include SAT and ACT?? How else do you measure merit accross the country. Perhaps 2+2 = whatever you want it to equal in some schools- No wonder the Chinese are kicking our A—

  • Gary F

    And when they don’t succeed in life, they will blame someone else,claim victim status, because it’s never their fault and become dependent on government.

    • Joe

      I attribute any success I ever achieve in life to standardized testing.

      • kevins

        cool response

      • Pearly

        you haven’t accomplished much, have you?

    • JQP

      Sounds like the speech every CEO makes as they a fired for lack of results and right before the pop the golden parachute.

  • JQP

    there are too many standardized tests and too little national standard curriculum. The problem isn’t the testing, per se’ … its the lack of a uniform “feedstock” of students to measure. As long as local school boards have “total” control over curriculum no national or state standardized test can hope to correctly assess and compare students between wholly separate cities, counties and states.

    My suggestion/hope is a revamped general approach to general curriculum.
    National Base Level 40-45% = National required curriculum in core subject ( Language, Science, Math, History, Geography, )

    State Mid Tier ( 30-35 %) = extension of national base to accommodate regional population differences from national grade productivity norm ( additional remediation training or higher level expert subject level expansions)

    CountySchool District Tier ( 10-15 %) = extension of national/state base for local differences from state grade productivity norm. At this level -district teacher curriculum experts ( NOT ADVOCATES) must approve the proposed changes.

    School board/Parents input – (5-10%) = extension of national/state/county-district base for local community differences from grade productivity norm. At this level School teaching staff must be included in creating and establishing any changes.

    Also… at least in Minnesota
    + … we need to eliminate about 60% of the administrative level of the educational system … through massive aggregation of school districts. Rural areas are way ahead of the metro. the Metro should be 4 school districts total … no single community and county can afford the expenses of schools against shifting populations.

    + … eliminate teacher “higher pay” for MAsters degrees … the fallacy of Masters improving all teachers is rubbish. A masters improves 5-12 % of teachers… its an artificial hurdle for young teachers who are good, its an artificial fence protecting older teachers who are bad.

    + Teacher pay should go up … by reducing the costs

  • lindblomeagles

    Ironically, students wanting to opt out are asking similar questions about today’s school curriculum, which is “How in the world is this relative to my future success, career, or adulthood?” Adults often think teenagers don’t ponder much beyond the latest movie, the best song, the coolest friend, the hottest date, and who has a car. But they do think about important things, like will I use anything I learned in US History on my future job? Or, if every one uses computers to make calculations, why do I have to pass College Algebra? The same questions teens ask about their studies applies directly to testing. There IS NO CORRELATION between successfully passing standardized tests and finishing college, let alone getting a great job. Today’s standardized tests are basically adults’ tools for a) deciding which school districts receive funding; b) is public better than private or better than charter; and c) should we tenure teachers or decertify their unions, decrease their wages, and make it more difficult to give them raises. Beyond that, the standardized tests measures nothing, and what’s worse teens STILL HAVE TO TAKE THE ACT AND/OR SAT to get into college. Even junior colleges MAKE STUDENTS TAKE English and Math exams before entry. It’s one thing if the Standardized Tests could count as a college entry examination; its quite another to have yet another test students have to take on top of the college tests they have to take as well. We adults need to stop playing POLITICS with our kids’ education, and start working together to find meaningful ways to pass skills on to the next generation of workers and leaders.

  • Jeff Friesen

    Yes. Testing as currently used in the USA is a waste of time, energy, money and potential. We should be developing future leaders, not future test takers.