Today, Oregon Governor Kate Brown sent out a media release announcing she has signed House Bill 2655 into law. This is welcome news, and expands the rights of students & parents to opt-out of high-stakes testing. Some elements here have us concerned, though.
The statement wrings its hand over the possible loss of federal funding if the opt-out rate gets too high. Additionally, there are elements that point to an ongoing effort to intimidate parents & students from opting out. For example:
As educators and policy makers, it is important to demonstrate for parents the connection between high levels of student participation in assessment and system accountability – ensuring the success of every student.
The success of the national opt-out movement is based almost entirely on parents, students, and many teachers knowing education and what’s best for students far better than policy makers.
As we have posted before, high-stakes testing is not a realm of reason. It is a hostage situation. The stakes and expenses will simply increase, to the detriment of students, the more the high-stakes testing culture is appeased. It is well-past time for this practice to stop.
Gov. Brown’s action represents an important step forward in expanding parent & student rights. However, much education of policymakers remains to ensure we stop tossing our funds and students’ futures down the high-stakes testing sinkhole.