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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Why we can boycott PSSA's without hurting our schools

Have no fear.




 We are all trying to figure out how the new ESEA law (formerly NCLB) will impact our local schools and our kids. One thing to check off your list of worries is what will happen to our schools if we opt out. In this post from Fairtest.org, it is simplified for us.


"Some states, districts and schools continue to claim they will lose U.S. Department of Education Title I aid if parents, students or teachers boycott standardized exams required under federal law. The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) specifically allows parents to opt their children out if their state allows them to do so. ESSA does require that 95% of all students and of all students in any “subgroup” be tested. However, it leaves it to the states to decide what actions to take if too few students take the tests."

"As far as we know, no school or district anywhere in the country has ever been penalized by the federal government for failing to test enough of its students. Further, seven states (Utah, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and California) have laws specifically allowing opting out, and none have been sanctioned. In fact, Oregon made it easier for students to opt out in 2015, but DOE did nothing. Nor has any state taken steps to cut funds to schools. New York State had threatened to do so, but like the feds, it backed down."

"Therefore, parents, students and teachers should not fear harmful federal financial penalties to their schools if parents and students boycott standardized tests."




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