An Examination of Opt-Out

An Examination of Opt-Out


PRINCETON, N.J., June 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — As the 2016 testing season winds down and educators look toward implementing the new Every Student Succeeds Act, debates over testing policies and practices continue. One of those debates received national attention starting in 2015, led by organized groups of parents removing their children from testing, referred to as the Opt-Out movement.

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Using news accounts, research studies, survey results, and state and federal education department documents, Randy Bennett of Educational Testing Service (ETS) examines the Opt-Out movement and ways the education community might respond to it in a recently published report, Opt Out: An Examination of Issues.

“Opt-Out is a complicated and politically charged issue made more so by its social class and racial/ethnic associations,” Bennett said. “It is also an issue that appears to be as much about test use as the tests themselves.”

In the report, Bennett found that students who opted out in the 2014–15 school year were a distinct subpopulation and were geographically concentrated primarily within three states; New York, Rhode Island and Colorado.

Some of the report’s other findings are:

  • National polls suggest that the general public opposes opting children out of testing.
  • Opt-out levels varied dramatically from one state to the next, from one district to the next, and between high school and lower grades.

Along with other recommendations within the report, Bennett explains the need for the assessment community to more effectively communicate to policymakers, parents and educators about why test participation is essential if student competency and educational effectiveness are to be evaluated fairly.

To learn more and or to download the full report, visit:

About ETS

At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, and by conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series® assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

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An Examination of Opt-Out