Opt-Outs? I’m In! Pass The Kale! But Let’s Not Be Hypocrites About It.

In U.S. News & World Report I take a look at the opt-out issue. I’m in:

What’s in this spring in public education? Apparently it’s students opting out of state standardized tests. 

If you just read hysterical press accounts you might think parents are refusing state standardized tests at a fantastic clip. In fact, for the overwhelming majority of schools and students it’s business as usual. In a few affluent communities opting out of the new Common Core tests is a thing. “Everyone is talking about it at Whole Foods” says one disgusted New York education figure. But so far the opt out craze is more noise than signal. 

Still, faced with even the possibility of an “opt-out” movement education officials are responding with force. This week Kentucky’s education commissioner said school districts cannot honor opt-out requests and student refusals would be counted as zeroes for school accountability purposes. That strategy seems more likely to fan flames than change minds.

When I asked my nine-year-old daughter about whether parents should opt kids out of tests, she responded, “Well, then how will they know how they’re really doing?” Fair enough, but the debate about testing is long past that sort of reasonableness. So if parents want to opt-out of tests and all this craziness, why not just let them?

Opt-in to read the entire thing here (the lame jokes write themselves around here). You might hear more education policy analysis from my kids on my Twitter feed @arotherham. And tell me here or there whether or not you like quinoa on the side along with your opt-outs.

One Reply to “Opt-Outs? I’m In! Pass The Kale! But Let’s Not Be Hypocrites About It.”

  1. I appreciate your panic. I appreciate your arrogant foot stamping whine. I enjoy it. Kind of reminds me of the hack fly fisherman with the latest 10K worth of gear who cannot fish worth a damn, and gets all patsy about the fish not recognizing that.

    I see things a bit differently. I see parents making rational, self interested decisions for themselves and their children.

    I see them weighing the benefits and costs of the CC tests versus the SAT and ACT. I see them acting in the best interest of THEIR OWN CHILDREN.

    I do not see them considering the welfare of other families or children. Why should they?

    I see them exercising the kind of liberty and choice that made this nation as great as it is.

    I see the market of CHOICE operating the way it should.

    And YOU are just as angry as an 8 year old girl.

    Opt out is NOT racist.
    Opt out is not depriving poor children of an education.
    Opt out is not a teacher driven cabal.
    Opt out is not child abuse.
    Opt out is not some soccer mom going nuts over her child.

    Opt out is TRUE CHOICE.

    And if folks wish to OPT OUT OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS…Go right ahead.

    And if parents CHOOSE not to have their schools taken over by charters…..Let them.

    I suggest you get onboard with it before you guys lose the whole thing.

    Doggone it! Americans are pesky with their demand for independence.

    You guys must just hate it!

    You cannot DEMAND that a fish jump on your hook.

    You play by the rules of the fish.

    You just do not get it.

    And if you wish to test your child…go right ahead. It is YOUR CHOICE.

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