January 28, 2014

Boycotting Tests Is Helping Stop the Common Core

by Katie Tipton
HSLDA Legislative Assistant

Across the country, parents and public school students are slowing the Common Core’s progress by refusing to take Common Core-aligned assessments. These efforts have caused some school administrators to cancel standardized testing.

Examples of the trend are plentiful in Washington, New York, Illinois, Oregon, Colorado, and Rhode Island. In one Washington school district, more than 80% of the parents refused to let their 4-year-olds take a “bubble style” test that is required by state law for teacher evaluations. The principal canceled the tests, because it would have been impossible to collect meaningful data.1

Parents in New York City and across New York have withheld their children from testing to the degree that one principal remarked, “The amount of disruption this is creating is actually a threat to the quality of education.”2 Dozens of students in Portland refused to take new standardized assessments, forcing the state to accept alternative testing methods.3

As it becomes clear that stopping the Common Core depends on the efforts of concerned parents and students, the opt-out movement is proving to be an effective way to work toward this goal. HSLDA encourages parents and legislators to continue using creative and positive approaches to turn back the Common Core.

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1. Rachel Monahan, “Forget Teaching to the Test—at This Washington Heights Elementary School, Parents Canceled It!,” http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/parents-opt-city-test-article-1.1492127 New York Daily News, October 21, 2013, accessed December 17, 2013,

2. Javier C. Hernandez, “A Tough New Test Spurs Protest and Tears,” New York Times, April 19, 2013, accessed December 17, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/education/common-core-testing-spurs-outrage-and-protest-among-parents.html?_r=1&.

3. Nicole Dungca, “Portland Public Schools students kick off campaign against state standardized tests,” Oregonian, February 6, 2013, accessed December 17, 2013, http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/02/portland_public_schools_studen_2.html.