This year, one in five New York state students in grades three through eight did not take the state’s standardized test. In Washington state 53 percent of 11th-graders opted out of the new Smarter Balanced Common Core exams. If this trend continues — and the coming election year will certainly fuel the fire around Common Core and testing — the future of recent school reforms will be called into question.
As much as I can understand some of the motivations behind opting out of standardized tests, I think it complicates the goal of helping all students to achieve at higher levels and close long standing academic achievement gaps.
So how did we get here and what can we do to lower the pressure around the issue and focus on improving student learning?