President Obama has presented his educational reform "Blueprint" modifying portions of No Child Left Behind, a welcome aspect; however, the plan includes additional testing to measure growth before the high-stakes test and pinpoint areas that require more attention. The rationale is that the correct things are not being tested. Congress is in a budget cutting mood and education will not get special attention on the chopping block.
Nationwide, parent unhappiness over the obsession with testing is getting some notice.
Duncan last September said he has visited 42 states and that nearly everywhere he went, teachers, parents, principals and lawmakers complained that what's taught in school is narrowing as more teachers focus on improving scores in standardized tests, especially in schools with large numbers of disadvantaged students.
Pennsylvania allows parents to "opt out" of standardized testing and there is a movement to do just that in order to cause a shift away from schools as testing factories.
Under Pennsylvania Code Title 22 Chapter 4, section 4 (d)(5), parents have the right to opt out of testing for their children. The exemption is “religious,” but the Pennsylvania Department of Education confirmed this includes any moral, psychological, philosophical or even medical objection. The reason cannot be challenged.