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Senate Says 'No' to Parents Opting Out of Kids' Standardized Tests

The Short of It

On Tuesday, the United States Senate rejected proposed changes to the Every Child Achieves Act that would have allowed parents to keep their children from taking state standardized tests at school.

The Lowdown

An amendment proposed by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) would have allowed parents to decide whether or not their child should sit for state standardized tests without any legal backlash against the school from the federal level.

"Parents, not politicians or bureaucrats, will have the final say over whether individual children take tests," Lee said.

But the change was shot down with a vote of 64 to 32. However, the discussion has brought up the question whether the nation's main federal education guidelines, the No Child Left Behind Act, need to reevaluated and rewritten.

Currently, the federal law requires a minimum of 95 percent of students to take the tests to ensure that low-performing students aren't allowed to skip the tests and remove their accountability from the system as a whole.

The Upshot

When it comes to standardized state tests, I think all students should be tested to get an accurate reading on the level of achievement at the school. And those with sub-par grades shouldn't be exempt to boost the curve. If several students are left out—whether from the top or the bottom of the class—the school can't get an accurate look at the performance of the student body as a whole.

Would you opt-out your child from standardized testing if it were possible? Why?

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