by David Safier
In the past few days, I've posted a video about the local and national Opt Out Movement and an op ed from a principal in Brooklyn, NY, criticizing the Common Core tests her students took and her inability to talk about specifics because of a state-imposed gag order.
The Opt Out movement is growing, though it's in its infancy in the Tucson area. Here are some short items about what's going on, along with links if you're interested in learning more.
• Three Tucson parents joined Robin Hiller on her radio show, State of Education, to discuss their desire to have their children opt out of the AIMS test. Their portion of the show begins around the 14:30 minute mark.
• An estimated 30,000 New York children in grades three through eight opted out of the state test this spring. That includes about 27 percent of the third through eighth grade students in West Seneca (about 800 students) and at least 6,000 students in Long Island.
• Several hundred Utah children have opted out of the Utah state tests. "The state school board decided Friday not to count students who opt out when calculating school grades, so as not to penalize schools."
• In March, "over 100 teachers, students, and parents from across the country gathered in Denver for the United Opt Out National Spring Action." More information at the United Opt Out website.
• Maya Angelou joined 120 other authors of children's books in writing a letter to Obama challenging the "overuse and abuse" of standardized testing.
• Anyone who wants a taste of the PARCC test, which a sampling of Arizona students will be field testing, can take a practice test.