ednext_XVI_4_forum_img01Over the past few years, students by the thousands have refused to take their state’s standardized tests. This “opt-out” phenomenon has prompted debate in state legislatures and in Washington, putting states at risk of losing Title I funds. Advocates describe opt-out as a grassroots movement of parents concerned about overtesting, teaching to the test, and a lack of transparency. Others oppose opt-out, viewing universal standardized testing as an important source of information for educators, students, and parents and a necessary tool for ensuring equity in public education.

Scott Levy, a New York State public-school parent and local school board member, and Jonah Edelman, cofounder and CEO of Stand for Children, a national organization advocating for college and career readiness for all, draw different conclusions in their analyses of the topic.

• “Opt-Out Reflects the Genuine Concerns of Parents,” by Scott Levy

• “This Issue Is Bigger Than Just Testing,” By Jonah Edelman

This article appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of Education Next. Suggested citation format:

Levy, S. and Edelman, J. (2016). Making Sense of the Opt-Out Movement. Education Next, 16(4), 54-64.

Last updated June 21, 2016