The Problem with Opting-out

The growing movement of opting-out of standardized testing has received official criticism from a dozen civil rights groups who recently issued a statement explaining how the opt-outs sabotage important data. The goal of standardized testing is to measure students’ grasp of concepts taught in their education. If students haven’t mastered certain subjects, the tests serve to identify that and help schools to make adjustments to ensure students are college and career ready by high school graduation. The data is skewed by allowing some students to opt out, making it more difficult to gauge achievement gaps which primarily effect disadvantaged communities. Without accurate testing data the testing efforts are of diminished accuracy. What cannot be measured cannot be fixed. Though students who refuse tests are a small minority, their numbers are growing. Earlier this year about twice as many civil rights groups jointly asked Congress to maintain annual standardized tests.

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