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State BOE member responds to standardized testing “opt outs”

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State BOE member responds to standardized testing “opt outs”
By Carrie Hodousek in News | May 04, 2015 at 12:01AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A state Board of Education member said “opting out” is not an option for West Virginia students when it comes to the new Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium testing implemented this year.

Lloyd Jackson, state board member and former West Virginia state senator and Senate Education Committee chairman, said it’s “regrettable that people are taking that position.”

The “opt out” movement started in West Virginia schools last month after nearly 200 students at Spring Valley High School in Wayne County refused to take the test.

Parents were concerned with the Common Core/Next Generation standards because their child’s results would be collected in a national database.

Harrison County School Superintendent Mark Manchin responded last week to the “opt out” in Wayne County and said he simply couldn’t allow that to happen in the Harrison school system.

Also last week House of Delegates member Mike Folk (R-Berkeley) filed a lawsuit with Berkeley County Court to end Common Core test funding.

Folk told MetroNews the testing was a “large waste of time and resources” and an “unconstitutional attempt on the part of the federal Department of Education to take over our state educational system.” He also said it takes money away from school systems.

Jackson said despite what people have said, they have to know how their schools are doing if they want to see any improvement in the system.

“The only way we know that is by measuring the performance of the very product we create and that’s really good performing students. If we can’t measure that, it’s really difficult to know how our schools are doing,” said Jackson.

Jackson said it’s an issue the local boards are dealing with, so they are just waiting to see the results of the reports for now.

“I don’t think it’s as big of an issue as some people make it out to be right now,” he said, “We’ll see the numbers and see where we are.”