Opting In or Opting Out


Opting In or Opting Out - The current levels of discussion around testing educational progress leave something to be desired. That discussion has become whether a child’s parents have the right to “Opt Out” of the current testing regimen. Of course, there are lots and lots of reasons for this. The parents may not want to receive the test results, the tests may make the student overly anxious, the tests may not be indicative of the students real ability. At some point we must remember that most tests are really a measure of reading skills. Let’s ask an even more fundamental question. What are the tests measuring? Using the Scholastic Aptitude Test to measure achievement is contrary to the nature of the test - the SAT is an “aptitude” test, not an achievement test. It measures, quite well in fact, the ability of the secondary student to do first semester college work. And that’s all it measures. Rather, why not create a rich system of measuring learning though evidence based assessment in addition to less frequent testing? That’s a more realistic methodology anyway. Testing is not the only measure of student learning.

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