What Now For The Opt-Out Movement?

Data released last week by New York State – the epicenter of the K-12 standardized test opt-out movement – shows that the opt-out movement there was far broader than critics assumed but also not as diverse as proponents claimed. I take a look at that and what might be next for the opt-outers and public officials in a U.S. News & World Report column:

Speculating about how many and what kind of students were opting out of standardized tests was a fun education parlor game this spring. Highly energized proponents claimed the opt-out movement was a diverse cross-section of public school students. Critics responded that, no, it was a movement of affluent white parents and not that many of them. And, as usual with education debates, most Americans said, “what?” Now, though, we have actual data from opt-out ground zero in New York State, released late last week, and it turns out the proponents and opponents of opt-outs were both right and wrong about what happened…

What happened? You can read the entire thing here. Share all the things you’ve opted out of and drop out and opt-in to Twitter and respond right here.

5 Replies to “What Now For The Opt-Out Movement?”

  1. Great job on this article. Assessments have told us a lot in the past few years. Testing has shed light on who isn’t learning, who continues to learn, who is learning at high levels and who is leaning incrementally? Unfortunately, the results aren’t what we want to hear: It is about the haves and the have nots. Why are parents of predominantly white students who are under-performing complaining about testing? It sheds light on what matters most – your race and not the fact that your neighborhood school isn’t doing a good job teaching your child. We need to think about the paradigm shift that is needed in schooling for these particular schools. We need differentiated schools just like we need differentiated instruction. What is wrong with one group of schools offering traditional schooling because it works with one population and another group of schools offering non-traditional and outside of the box schooling because it works with another population. We have over standardized schools, not testing. Testing is the result of standardized schools. Maybe we need to rethink standardized schooling?

  2. Incredible results have been shown. Now we exactly know that which student needs more attention and which needs less. Though some parents might find these results contradictory but they will have to accept the figures.

  3. Great job with this article! This is a bit of an older piece, but still the Opt-Out Movement is relevant to what is occurring now in our schools. I recently read an article, called “Promoting White Privilege: A look at the Opt-Out Movement,” by Sarah L. Hairston on the American Education Journal forum. I think an aspect of how the movement has further evolved is the emersion of exercising white privilege. Not all students and parents are able to participate in this movement. The general disadvantages of persons of color in the education system is evident, but is further mentioned in the roots of the creation of the exam. I think that the reason for opposition of the Opt-out movement from some parents of students of color is because of the absence of white participants would prevent the identification of the students that are the most “in need.” I think that the act of opting out by white parents may be unintentionally exercising a privilege that people of color may not have, but as long as they are reminded of that then people might be able to work together on this issue and be divided by opinion and not race.

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