With Opt-Out Movement, Administrators Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

WHOSE TEST IS IT ANYWAY? Administrators across the country are snared in a colossal tug-o-war between parents and state requirements, after a considerable number of students have opted out of newly minted Common Core tests offered through PARCC and Smarter Balanced (SBAC).

District Administration reports that in New Jersey alone, “an estimated 15 percent of high school juniors opted out of the [PARCC] tests this year.” At Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, a whole grade opted out. Other states, like Nevada and Montana, have suspended SBAC testing due to technical glitches. The focus for many administrators now is to simply keep the peace. Salvatore Goncalves, Superintendent of Bloomfield School District in New Jersey, is working proactively with parents by hosting workshops around state testing. But with NCLB and ESEA reauthorization up for debate and Common Core implementation gathering its second wind, it’s a safe bet that this opt-out movement—if it can be called as much—is only the tip of the iceberg.

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