The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) authorizes states to allow parents to opt their children out of exams if a state or district allows it. Eight states already have laws allowing opt outs. New federal regulations ignore this provision, but states should not.
Testing overuse and misuse is damaging public educationby eating up classroom time, narrowing curriculum and driving many students out of school. It is perpetuating a false narrative of failure and putting schools in low-income communities at risk of closure or privatization.
"Time to Abolish High School Graduation Tests" explains in two pages how and why mandated high school exit tests damage students and the quality of education. These tests deny diplomas to tens of thousands of students, disproportionately children of color, immigrants or youth with special needs; they do not improve college or career prospects but feed the school-to-prison pipeline; new Common Core tests are likely to increase the dropout rate; and more.
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Regulations on test participation and accountability
The U.S. Department of Education (DoE) has issued regulations governing state implementation of accountability requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These include requirements for state action for schools or districts that do not test at least 95% of their students.
Technology “permits us now to do in nanoseconds things we shouldn’t be doing at all.” – Gerald Bracey
Education policymakers and technology providers have joined forces to accelerate a longtime push for “test data-driven” education interventions. Both sectors look to computer-based curricula and data collected with online tests to control classrooms and define educational outcomes.
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the latest version of the long-standing Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It replaces the widely despised “No Child Left Behind.” The new law presents both opportunities and dangers for the testing resistance and reform movement.