- Leaders of the movement against standardized testing are looking to capitalize on momentum and expand nationwide, regardless of support from teacher unions and other groups.
- Opting out is very popular in New York, with the practice gaining ground in Connecticut and Colorado, as well.
- Though the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) still mandates that states test 95% of students in order to gauge progress, testing opponents like Diane Ravitch say the movement is likely to continue making progress by targeting state lawmakers instead of Congress, since states now have more decision-making power over ed policy.
New York has led the way for the anti-testing movement, and most recently, the state Board of Regents voted to abandon the use of student test scores in teacher evaluations for the next four years. That move runs contrary to the state legislature's decision earlier this year to increase focus on the use of test scores in measuring teacher efficacy.
In the coming months, such moves will stoke the flames of the opt-out movement, likely with serious fiscal consequences. The U.S. Department of Education has already sent a letter to state education directors, warning of reductions in federal aid if less than 95% of students participate in mandated standardized tests. In New York alone, where 20% of students in grades 3-8 opted out of Common Core-aligned tests last year, a reported $1.1 billion is at stake.
Annual standardized testing this year will likely grow more controversial, and a recent survey by District Administration shows that 39% of school staffers and district leaders believe that more students will opt out this year.