The 'opt-out' movement: More parents keeping their children from taking standardized tests

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  • raybies Layton, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    I don't see the outrage behind most of these standardized tests. Seldom are they the only determining factor in whether a student achieves success, they simply determine where a school is failing the students.

    The Statewide CRTs determine if a child has met the basic requirements of that grade level. Something all parents would like to know. A score of 3 or 4 out of 4 tells the district whether the child passed. Some schools get 99-100% of their students passing the CRTfor certain core subjects in this state. That's impressive. It demonstrates that the school accounts for EVERY child in their school and is interested in seeing them ALL pass these basic core competencies.

    A standardized test is excellent at identifying basic understanding. IMO, It is not a good tool if you're interested in determining who's the "smartest" kid in the class, or who has learned the most, or who saw the most improvement. But for determining if a school is attending to the basics, it's a fine tool and should be used as such.

  • Million Bluffdale, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 6:01 a.m.

    Good trend. No testing for driver's license. No yearly evaluation at work. No interviews or testing to hire people. No testing for drugs at work. It might traumatize our citizens. No more stress for the students or employees. Good trend.

  • cval Hyde Park, UT
    Sept. 11, 2013 3:36 p.m.

    Wow: The propaganda has been swallowed by some of you folks big time.

    The Utah Core standards are a way to encourage consistency in the curriculum. They ensure only that students are getting the opportunity to learn and get a solid foundation. They are not a plot to wrest control from teachers. Standardized testing tells us if they are learning. It does not subvert teachers.

    I agree with you that using them to evaluate teachers is wrong, but the reason is that it ignores all of the other factors that influence achievement, not because there is anything wrong with knowing how well they are learning.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 9, 2013 10:46 p.m.


    Truth is, of course, not being paranoid.

    When you say "A third of our college graduates are from other countries" what do you mean?

    Per the Open Doors report, in the 2011/2012 school year just 3.7% of enrolled US college students were international students. It would seem nearly impossible that they represent a third of our graduates. Please clarify.

    Are you saying you believe our educational system is responsible for folks being on welfare? Generally, I have found those on welfare lacking in education (there are exceptions).

    My kids went through public school and have been reasonably well educated. Most of the Utah and Idaho missionaries I meet are similarly educated and seem to have been overall benefited from their public school systems.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:21 p.m.

    Often a disease spreads very slowly, and by the time it's noticed, much damage has been done.

    Our education system has transformed slowly, and much damage has been done. Our people are on welfare, addicted to government, and can't feed itself. A third of our college graduates are from other countries. ETC!

    Find a dictionary, and define socialism. Compare, and contrast to our school system with an open mind.

    Truth is not being paranoid.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 9, 2013 4:45 p.m.

    So the legislature is in charge. Define legislature.

    This is socialism, and/or communism. Unless the dictionary is wrong. Americans are blind.

    Paranoid or truthful? Who are the real parents?

  • KA woods cross, ut
    Sept. 9, 2013 10:41 a.m.


    I think it's wrong to use these tests to determine a student's grade. Some people perform poorly on these kinds of tests but well in class work. Also, I don't think it's right to "punish" the school and the teachers for the fact than less than 95% of the students take the tests. When I was going to elementary school these assessments were used to see what our reading/math/language arts levels were. We were not taught "to the test". We didn't study for the test in class, etc. We did take a "practice" test so that we knew how to take timed tests, but that was it.

    I have a son with Down syndrome. One of the reasons I homeschool him, is the fact that the elementary school (the boundary school) did not want him integrated into kindergarten because he would lower their test scores and thus lower the performance of the school. It was the teachers who didn't want him, but the principal was sitting right there and didn't refute their statements. It was obvious that their priorities at that school was the "good grade" not the children's academics.

  • KA woods cross, ut
    Sept. 9, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    My main issues with the end of year testing is the fact that the legislature passed t20 bills the last session stating the following:

    SB 175: "providing that scores on the tests and assessments required under Subsection (2)(a) and Subsection (3) shall be considering a student's academic grade for the appropriate course and whether a student shall advance to the next grade level."

    SB 271: "A school shall receive an F if: student participation in a statewide assessment is fewer than 95%"

    SB 175 passed unanimously (by those legislators voting); SB 217 passed with a majority vote and they were signed into law by the governor.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 9, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    "Standardized testing is a valuable tool -- IF used properly".

    Great! Give some examples, and evidence. How is it better than the good ole report card system?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    Wow! Right wing paranoia is running full throttle here this morning. It's especially amusing because it's obvious that those commenting have absolutely no idea what they are ranting about.

    Standardized testing is a valuable tool -- IF used properly.

    The problem is that since the Cheney administration slapped us with No Child Left because that's the opposite of right, (Gotta turn all those little varmints into proper right-wingers and we can't have any liberal kids on the left, can we?) testing has simply gone so far out of control that it has become a ridiculous mess.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:11 a.m.

    RBB and others who oppose 'opt-out'. If testing is what you want as a means of testing what kids know (which I don't disagree with), then why can't it be done at the state and local level, where liberty can best be addressed and retained? If local school districts only produce a worthless track record, then let them deal with the consequences. Isn't that what choice and liberty are all about? How is it that a bureaucrat in Washington D.C. has more knowledge and proximity to 'educational reform' than parents and teachers in a local school district? If you can explain how that is possible, I'm all aboard! To say that some far flung bureaucrat knows more than a parent about what is important is an insult to the dignity and worth of every parent in this country. Look at the track record of our national government the past 50 years. In almost every measure, our scores have gone down! How does anyone justify the federal government assuming more power and control over a system that by their own records and numbers spell 'failed'? Please explain without insulting my common sense!

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 4:40 a.m.

    Many parents oppose the dumbed-down politically-correct Common Core curriculum. The Common Core ignores the Classics and tries to inculcate a less efficient method for arithmetic. Utah school districts should opt out of Common Core, as districts in several states have done with no financial penalty.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Sept. 8, 2013 9:57 p.m.

    Why standardized testing is socialism:

    * a tool used for putting a central authority in control of your children, teachers, and administrators.

    * takes curriculum, and strategies out of the hands of teachers. They decide what will be taught.

    * places control of funding, and rules, into the hands of bureaucrats.

    Our schools are under a system in which the government owns the means of education. The state plans and controls education with the usage of standardized testing.

    The same bureaucrats who created a national debt equal to $560,000 for every second in a year.

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    Sept. 8, 2013 9:12 p.m.

    Paranoia runs deep.
    Into your life it will creep.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 8:53 p.m.

    A standard lets one know where they are relative to a benchmark. It is critical to assessing where to focus effort to correct deficiencies. Yes, there is some stress, but children protected from the realities of life will only face greater difficulty later.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 8, 2013 8:32 p.m.

    These standardized tests may or may not provide a snapshot at that moment of what that students know compared to a standard. The only way to even get a snapshot in time is if the student makes their best effort on the test. Because by state law teachers cannot hold the students accountable for the score they receive on these tests, many and I repeat many students simply fill in the bubble sheet or click the choices on the computer as fast as they can so that they can finish. Are these test scores an accurate reflection of the knowledge of some of our students, absolutely. Are they an accurate reflection of all students or the teaching taking place in class absolutely not.

    I will guarantee you that if each student who passed at say a 75% level received a $100.00 cash, the average score in any school especially the low achieving schools would go up 10% if you did nothing else. If we want these tests to be used as a measurement, then we need to incentivize ALL students either positively (better) or negatively to take the test seriously.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 8, 2013 5:06 p.m.

    Mainly Me,

    All testing is measuring a child's knowledge against an approved standard. Is it Socialism if a school does it? The school district? The county? The state?

    At what level does testing becomes Socialism?

    On another note. How are the citizens of one district or state to know how their children's educational progress compares to those of another district or state?

    Further, how do we as a nation know how we stand against other nations? Is our international competitiveness something we should be concerned about?

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    Standardized tests are the opposite of socialism. Rather than collectivism, they let each student know where he or she stands. How well a sudent does in class tells you very little. One teacher may hand out A's while another requies much more work for a B. There are kids who have 4.0 gpas who can bearly red and know very little.

    The whole point of standardized tests is to give teachers, parents and students an idea of how well they are doing. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who cannot handle accountability. I want my children to take tests that show their strengths and weaknesses. I then help.them with areas that need help. Other parents would rather stick their heads in the sand and assume their children are getting a good education

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Sept. 8, 2013 1:56 p.m.

    Standardized testing and common core: Socialism at work.