Many parents, brainwashed by unions, won’t let their kids take standardized tests

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WASHINGTON D.C. – Standardized tests have never been popular with students, but now the assessments are also falling out of favor with a growing number of parents – much to the delight of the nation’s teacher unions.

standardized testsThe Associated Press reports that “a small but growing number of parents nationwide … are ensuring their children do not participate in standardized testing,” by keeping their children home on test days. The practice is becoming widespread enough for the media to give it a name: “the opt-out movement.”

When asked why they oppose the student assessments, “opt-out” parents offer reasons that read like talking points from a teacher union memo. Parents claim the standardized assessments are being unfairly used to evaluate teachers’ classroom performance and that they’re leading to a narrowing of the curriculum, commonly known as “teaching to the test.”

They also say the tests are evidence that K-12 reform is allowing big corporations to control the education process.

New Jersey Parent Darcie Cimarusti told the AP, “My goal is that my daughters never take a standardized test. I see less and less value in it educationally and it is being used more and more to beat teachers over the head.”

Such comments must be music to the ears of teacher union leaders everywhere, who have been fighting against testing since the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law tied federal K-12 dollars to standardized assessments.

The idea behind NCLB was that any school receiving financial assistance from the nation’s taxpayers should be held accountable for its ability to teach students basic skills. The only feasible way to measure that ability is through testing.

But activist teachers don’t like this setup because it forces them to stick to the assigned curriculum or suffer the consequences of bad job evaluations. That leaves them with fewer opportunities to push their ideological and political agenda in the classroom.

The unions also dislike testing because it helps school leaders identify which teachers aren’t very effective. That’s an affront to the teacher union belief that all educators are equal in skill, and should be treated (and paid) as interchangeable workers.

Add it all up and it’s very understandable why the unions hate testing.

What’s distressing about the “opt-out movement” is that it’s proof some parents are falling for the unions’ anti-testing propaganda.

The AP reports that the anti-testing sentiment is popping up all across the country – from Seattle, Washington to Providence, Rhode Island. The movement appears to be growing, thanks to social media sites which allow unhappy parents to connect and organize protests.

The AP also notes there are no consequences for parents who keep their children home on testing day, which means this movement could keep growing.

As one anti-testing teacher told the news agency, “You can feel the momentum. I think we’re headed for a full-on revolt next year.”

Few educators or policy makers really love the idea of standardized testing, but it’s the only tool Americans have of ensuring that the nation’s schools – which consume huge sums of tax dollars – are actually helping prepare students for adult life.

By Ben Velderman at

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  1. Todd Chadwick says

    There is SO much more to this issue of standardized testing and why parents and teachers are against it, Ben Velderman. You are seeing the union arguments against it and automatically assuming that anyone who disagrees with the union arguments is wrong. Well, we who ARE experts, “in the field,” can tell you that, even as professionals who ARE IN FAVOR OF accountability in the classroom, standardized testing IS the wrong way to go about this! Standardized testing is the poorest type of assessment, educationally. Look it up. Do some research. The BEST kind of assessment is that done IN the classroom BY the classroom teacher who KNOWS his or her students! Granted, there are a few “bad apples” in the teaching profession, just as there are in the field of journalism. BUT – standardized testing is so very, very bad educationally… you really need to do your homework on this issue and talk to teachers themselves – good, solid, respected teachers in their communities, parents, and students BEFORE you start taking the “anti-union” side in this. Standardized testing is a SCAM that has been foisted on the American education system in the false premise that it will somehow “improve” education. Just the opposite has occurred. Check it out. Look it up.

  2. CharlotteGreenbarg says

    Yes, it really does depend on the test. You wouldn’t want physicians or pilots, or any other profession to allow admission without an appropriate test. And the reason the unions hate tests is because good tests would show who the good teachers are, but most of the tests are useless, only fortifying their arguments.

  3. MontieR says

    “But activist teachers don’t like this setup because it forces them to stick to the assigned curriculum or suffer the consequences of bad job evaluations. That leaves them with fewer opportunities to push their ideological and political agenda in the classroom”.

    The entire every child left behind program has done NOTHING to educate the children in the basics reading math english OR the most important critical analysis. The entire program was designed to limit real knowledge on America and the ability to function independently. The entire curriculum centers around re written history that poses America as a vile ideal and undermines EVERY aspect of being an American citizen in favor of being a world citizen.
    Until now we home schooled our children we have been forced to enroll one of our kids in public school by a senile judge. She is a full 2 school years ahead of her class mates and is starting to get bored and is loosing interest in school and her grades are failing.

    1. Dan Moore says

      Move to a different state if you can.

    2. Betty4440 says

      what state are you in?

    3. mtman2 says


  4. Patriot Barnes says

    Yet the fact is that they do start to teach to the test a test that has been dumb down over the years. What we remember as standardized test is no longer the case. Where we would have 25 questions on one page of our standardized test that same test today has one or maybe two questions. Please contact Melanie Elsey at American Policy Roundtable and she will school you on standardized test. She is a wonderful resource and has been an education advocate for years and definately not a union advocate.

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