Princeton, NJ
Informing and Connecting Engaged Citizens
New Jersey
March 01, 2015
As Common Core Testing Is Ushered In, Parents and Students Opt Out

"BLOOMFIELD, N.J. — On Monday morning, a few hundred students will file into classrooms at Bloomfield Middle School, open laptops and begin a new standardized test, one mandated across New Jersey and several other states for the first time this year.

About a dozen of their classmates, however, will be elsewhere. They will sit in a nearby art room, where they will read books, do a little drawing and maybe paint.

What they will not do is take the test, because they and their parents have flatly refused.

A new wave of standardized exams, designed to assess whether students are learning in step with the Common Core standards, is sweeping the country, arriving this week in classrooms in several states and entering the cross hairs of various political movements. In New Jersey and elsewhere, the arrival has been marked with well-organized opposition, a spate of television attack ads and a cascade of parental anxiety.

Almost every state has an “opt out” movement. Its true size is hard to gauge, but the protests on Facebook, at school board meetings and in more creative venues — including screenings of anti-testing documentaries — have caught the attention of education officials" as reported by Elizabeth A. Harris of the New York Times.

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