The Opt-Out or Refusal movement is gaining traction. According to this article by Laura McKenna in The Atlantic, nearly 5% of students in some districts are refusing to take the tests.
She relates a personal story about students becoming part of the movement. Of course kids are going to ask parents to let them miss the test. This is excellent — as long as students know why they are refusing the test. It’s not to have a morning off. It’s to let decision makers (which usually is not at the district level. It’s at a state and national level) know that students want education that does not fit into a standardized test.
Students AND parents need to be part of the conversation about testing. It is not up to the companies that profit from it, and who do you think has better access the legislators?
These protests should also serve as a reminder for decision-makers that parents and students are stakeholders in education policy and that community outreach must be part of any reform.
Then, too, they must justify WHY we need the tests. What do they prove? What benefit do students gain from them?
Legislators should not be the ones making the decision alone — or with the testing companies.