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Diane Ravitch Urges Parents to Opt Children Out of Common-Core Exams

Education scholar, blogger, and activist Diane Ravitch told her large following of parents Monday to opt their children out of this year's standardized tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The statement was part of a larger opt-out movement partly led by the Network for Public Education, of which Ravitch is president. 

In a video posted on NPE's website, Ravitch said that the statewide assessments based on common core standards are "useless." 

"Opt out is the only way you have to tell policymakers that they're heading in the wrong direction," said Ravitch, who has written extensively about the history of education and, in recent years, protested the rapidly evolving accountability movement.   

Ravitch instead argued that students should be graded by their teachers' own assessments and that parents insist that their children have a full curriculum. 

Opt-out activists have gone on full assault in recent weeks as states prepare to administer their statewide exams. In many states, test scores are wrapped up in how teachers are evaluated, schools are ranked, and even in the grades students receive on their report cards. Teachers and parents have complained about anxious and overwhelmed students attempting to prepare for the exams.  

Last year, more than 20 percent of students in New York opted out of the state exams, according to New York's department of education.

Opponents to the opt-out movement argue that test scores can be useful for administrators to determine which groups of students are being underserved and for parents to navigate which school to send their child to.  Under the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act, states must come up with ways to handle schools where fewer than 95 percent of students complete the state assessment. 


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