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Boycotting standardized tests is wrong for students, teachers and parents

Parents who allow their children to skip Common Core standardized testing are doing them a disservice.

The tests have no bearing on a student’s grades, but it does help measure progress. Isn’t that something parents should want to know? Apparently, not all.

As a recent News story outlined, more parents are pulling their children out of testing as a form of protest against what they view as a pressure-filled testing environment, especially since the test results now link to teacher evaluations. So, many students have been forced to sit quietly during the tests, some as long as 70 minutes. Critics call it “sit and stare.”

If parents think this is punishment, then they have only themselves to blame.

The higher standards demanded under Common Core have been adopted in most states. Standardized testing will help determine how well districts are meeting the goals of Common Core. Children should expect to be tested on what they have learned.

Again, this is information any parent, teacher or administrator should want.

Yet, in bursts of outrage, some opposed to the standards, testing or teacher evaluations have encouraged a boycott. The result may be a growing number of parents who refuse to allow their children to take the tests. District officials can’t force students to answer the questions, so they are left figuring out what to do with the holdouts while most of the student body is going along with the program.

Some superintendents are willing to allow these students to do something else. Reading, remedial services and academic exercises have been offered in certain districts.

The Williamsville and Lancaster districts have it right by setting policies that require all students to either take the test or remain at their desks during the testing period. And to those who would object to that treatment, Williamsville Superintendent Scott G. Martzloff has the perfect response: the only reading allowed for those opting out will be to “read the test.”

Parents who don’t allow their children to be tested under the higher Common Core standards are the ones doing the punishing.