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Washington State: Nearly 30% of 11th Graders Opt Out

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Author: dianeravitch

The revolt against high-stakes testing continues in a big way in Washington State.

Nearly 30% of 11th grade students refused to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment, the test of the Common Core standards paid for by federal funds.

“Over one quarter of eligible Washington state high school juniors opted out of taking the Smarter Balanced exams this past spring, according to preliminary statistics released by the state education department—but in reality, the opt-out rate could be much higher.

“Officially, 27.4 percent of eligible students were “confirmed refusals” for taking the Smarter Balanced English/language arts exam, and 28.1 percent of them were confirmed refusals for the math exam. However, the percentage of potential refusals for the state could actually be much higher—the department puts the share of “potential refusals” at anywhere between 28 percent and 53 percent for both the math and E/LA tests, which are aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

“That means more than half of juniors didn’t take the test. But the state isn’t yet sure whether some of them officially refused the test or didn’t take it for some other reason.”

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