Springfield School Board urges parents to OK student ‘opt-out’ of state Smarter Balanced tests
The Springfield School Board on Monday evening urged parents and guardians to allow their children to opt out of the state-mandated Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test.
Calling the test an “ineffective measure of student growth and accountability,” the five-member board unanimously approved a statement recommending that parents and guardians “strongly consider exercising their right” under state law to “opt out their student from the Smarter Balanced test.”
The test is designed to assess students’ knowledge of the Common Core standards, a set of learning goals for each grade level that most states, including Oregon, have adopted.
Board Chairman Jonathan Light said the test was never created for students’ benefit.
“It was designed to compare districts and teachers, not to help students learn,” he said. “As a board member, I just don’t feel like it’s OK to encourage our students to participate in something that doesn’t help them in any way.”
Light said he wants other districts to follow suit.
“I really feel like school boards have to stand up for what’s right for their students,” Light said. “We all need to come together and say something. If we could all do it, it would make a huge difference.”
A state law passed last June gives parents the right to opt out their children for at least the next six school years. It requires schools to notify parents and students of that right at the start of each year.
Before last June, parents could opt their children out of the test only because of a disability or religious reasons.
The board’s statement contains a list of what it described as problems with the Smarter Balanced test. They include the test Springfield School Board urges parents to OK student ‘opt-out’ of state Smarter Balanced tests | Local | Eugene, Oregon: