Parents opt students out of state testing

Parents opt students out of state testing. (KTUL)

Testing is underway for Oklahoma students, but some families are choosing to opt out of mandated state and federal testing.

Bixby Public Schools has received about 15 opt-out forms from parents, as part of the district's policy, giving parents a guideline to follow.

Amie Tuggle has taken advantage of the opt-out program for her family of four students in the district.

"I am happy I did it for my kids. I have to each year talk to the school counselor and let them know I am standing firm on this. I have just seen the difference in my kids. They do not stress over this, they are not getting sick," said Tuggle, who says she doesn't know any other parents who opt their children out in her district.

None of her children are testing this year.

"They have been told before not to tell other people they are opting out. The hardest thing probably for them, is some kids who know they opt out say it's because they are not smart, they are not a good student, that's only people who would not take it," said Tuggle.

Bixby has about 15 students who are opting out. Tulsa Public Schools has received about six letters from parents who are opting their students out.

School districts can be penalized by the State Department of Education if less than 95 percent of their students test. School sites may each receive an automatic letter grade of an "F" if less than 90 percent of students test.

The system of accountability using testing is one that some parents feel is failing.

"If they are making A's all year, they must understand the material, so why do we focus everything on this one test and throw out a year's worth of progress and put the pressure on the classes and the teachers?" asked Tuggle.

The State Department of Education does not have a policy to allow parents to opt out.

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