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Standardized Test Backlash: More Parents Pull Kids from Exams As Protest

For a segment of parents fed up with the growing numbers of tests and the increasingly high stakes placed on their scores, “opting out” is now the popular form of protest. And in certain states and communities, the movement is gaining steam, with large percentages of parents and students sitting out required exams. With schools required by current federal law to test at least 95 percent of their populations, the burgeoning opt-out numbers raise the possibility of federal sanctions. But what some see as important grass-roots protest against a testing regime they say has become too onerous and that has negative effects on children and education, others say is misguided, a protest that stems from understandable frustration but that aims at the wrong target, and that ignores the important information gained from such tests.