BY: Citizens Count
Rep. J.R. Hoell is sponsoring a 2017 bill that would allow parents to opt their children out of statewide assessment tests.
Federal law requires states to track school performance with assessment tests. New Hampshire uses the Smarter Balanced Assessment based on Common Core curriculum.
Critics of the Smarter Balanced Assessment argue the test is not a valid measure of learning, wastes classroom time, and is biased against English language learners.
If 5% or more of students miss a test, a school district risks sanctions from the federal government, such as funding cuts. However, some school districts in New Hampshire have already told parents they can opt their children out of state assessment tests, and the federal government has not yet penalized those districts.
Opponents of Hoell’s bill argue that the federal government might still withdraw funding if test participation falls. They also note that lower participation will compromise the quality of data on school performance. It also makes it more difficult to identify subject areas where students might be struggling and need more help.
Do you think New Hampshire should legally allow students to opt out of statewide assessment tests? Share your opinion in the comments.
UPDATE: Read our Citizen Voices℠ report and find out where New Hampshire stands on this issue.