Majority support right of parents to opt kids out of standardized tests - 116 participants

Mar 30, 2015

The Common Core curriculum has encountered no small amount of controversy, and the Smarter Balanced exams – standardized tests based on Common Core – have caught a fair share of the flack. The Department of Education switched from the NECAP exams to Smarter Balanced assessments this school year, and some parents, educators and administrators are unhappy with the change. The move lead several school boards to send letters home to parents, informing them that they had a right to opt their children out of the standardized tests. According to the Department of Education, all public school children are required to be tested, though federal sanctions only come into play if less than 95% of students are assessed. Currently, opt-out rates in these districts are less than 1%, but the issue begs the question: “Do you believe parents have a right to pull their children out of Common Core standardized tests, for any reason?”

“Do you believe parents have a right to pull their children out of Common Core standardized tests, for any reason?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Standardized Testing Opt Out NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 116 participants gave 430 responses

A total of 70% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 30% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 116 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 430 responses or reactions to this question. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

Yes: A strong majority, at 88% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of giving parents the right to opt their children out of Common Core standardized tests for any reason.  

  • “Schools should ask parents for permission, not the other way around.”
  • “Parents should have the right to determine what their children are taught and what tests they take.”
  • “There is zero proof these are a good measure of what our kids know.”

No:  The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 12%, were opposed to giving parents the right to opt their children out of Common Core standardized tests for any reason.   

  • “Those tests show whether the kids are learning or not… Wouldn't it be good to know why a district might not be performing as well as other districts?.”
  • “If the parents want to run the schools - have at it. Otherwise your kids have to take the test just like all the other kids.”

Other: As noted above, 30% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • The merits of public vs. private education, or home schooling.
  • How much control government should exercise over education.
  • "The federal government shouldn’t be involved in public schools. We need parents to become as involved with the school curriculum as the teachers are."

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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