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More Parents Removing Kids from Standardized Testing in Pennsylvania Schools

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(Graphic: Ed Fischer)

(Graphic: Ed Fischer)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A growing number of parents are asking to have their children excused from the PSSA standardized assessment tests, being given this week to third through eighth graders throughout Pennsylvania.

And this so-called “opt out” movement is part of a growing national trend.

There have been skeptics ever since the federal “No Child Left Behind” law, requiring states to give annual tests, passed 12 years ago.  But in the last few years it’s developed into a small rebellion.

In Pennsylvania, parents exercising the opt-out option went from 71 in 2010 to 256 last year, and the state expects more to opt out this year.

One such parent is Tomika Anglin, whose daughter attends Greenfield Elementary School in center city Philadelphia.

“How in the world could one test accurately tell what those children are doing?” she wonders aloud.  “I just don’t think it makes sense.”

The state doesn’t encourage opting out but says it is a parent’s right.  After all, the commonwealth itself has asked the federal government for a waiver, making the same case that parents make: that the test is too narrow to be a good measure of achievement.

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