opt out

Parents are asking a Leon County Circuit Judge to order their children promoted to the fourth grade, despite their refusal to take a standardized test.

Judge Weighs Testing, Opt Out Policy After Emotional Hearing

Aug 13, 2016
U.S. Department of Education Via Flikr / WFSU News

A Leon County judge indicated during a hearing Friday that she was troubled some students were blocked from advancing to the fourth grade after "opting out" of a standardized test, but she put off ruling on a request that the students be allowed to move up.

OptOutFloridaNetwork

It’s the fifth season of the year in Florida: testing season. And millions of Florida’s public school students, from third grade through 12th are preparing to take the Florida Standards Assessment, end of course exams and the FCAT (yes, parts of it remain in effect). The test has drawn scorn from parents, teachers, school administrators even lawmakers—yet it remains the main measure of how schools and districts are graded, kids promoted, and teachers evaluated.  Some parents and kids are protesting -- choosing a form of civil disobedience by opting out.

Parents listen and discuss ideas for opting out of state exams in Leon County.
LHatter / WFSU News

Leon County students will begin taking the Florida Standards Assessment next week. Those tests will be used to grade and evaluate schools, teachers, districts, and students. But not everyone is supportive of how the tests are used. And some parents are opting out of the system. In Leon County, the opt out movement is just getting off the ground.

Florida Channel

Florida's opt out movement has found a supporter in House Democratic Leader Mark Pafford. He's encouraging more parents to opt-out of state standardized tests as lawmakers consider even more changes.

educationews.org

The Florida Department of Education says students can’t opt-out of taking state-mandated exams. The Department sent a letter to key education lawmakers, reiterating that there is no opt-out provision in state law.

educationews.org

The Florida Department of Education has announced plans to review the state’s standardized testing.  The move comes after a year of criticism for testing policies, and continued opposition to new learning standards.

This Spring Florida students will face a new statewide exam that replaces the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Students will take end-of-course exams in every grade and most subjects.

“I believe you should have accountability," Senate President Andy Gardiner recently told reporters."  I think there should be testing.  I think the jury is still out on overtesting.”

Some school districts have passed resolutions against standardized testing and some parent groups are pushing for the chance to opt their children out of some exams. The department of education says its review of standardized testing is meant to show parents how the tests are used, and to find quote “deregulation opportunities for the school system.”

Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says there are no plans to pause the end-of-course exams or the Florida Standards Assessment, which will start in the Spring.

During his campaign, Governor Rick Scott promised a review on standardized testing.

DOE is accepting applications for its review committee. The department says the committee will have its first meeting in March.

educationews.org

Florida school district officials are writing thousands of new exams to administer to students this school year. The effort to create end-of-course tests in subjects not evaluated at the state level, is causing more parents, and local education officials to call for a time out on testing.

Tallahassee mom Elizabeth Overholt is fed up.

“It’s a complete mess to start with," she says about the current state of Florida's school accountability system.