Strong majority support allowing students to opt out of state assessments – 434 participants

Jan 03, 2017

Rep. JR Hoell is sponsoring a 2017 bill that would allow parents to opt their children out of statewide assessment tests. The law would not impact federal policy, which requires states to track school performance with assessment tests and calls for sanctions if more than 5% of students miss a test. Read more about this issue here. On January 3, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Do you think NH should legally allow students to opt out of statewide assessment tests?”

“Do you think NH should legally allow students to opt out of statewide assessment tests?”
Statewide Assessment Opt Out Citizen Voices Chart 
Participation: 434 participants gave 900 responses

A total of 82% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 18% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 434 individuals contributed 900 responses or reactions to this question. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said

Yes: A strong majority, at 86% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, supported allowing parents to opt their children out of statewide assessment tests.

  • “I feel we're teaching kids to be test takers, not teaching them what they need for the real world. And honestly how many kids take these tests seriously?”
  • “These tests are out of control. Districts are so demanding about results, teachers are teaching to the test.”
  • “There is absolutely no way that a standardized test can test the capabilities of every individual student correctly.”

No: A minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 14%, were against allowing parents to opt their children out of statewide assessment tests.

  • “The test benefits everyone. Tests taking skills are essential for college.”
  • “As a taxpayer, I think schools getting federal dollars need to have federal assessment of educational achievement results.”
  • “No! How else can we as a nation determine how well our children are doing academically as a whole?”

Other: As noted above, 18% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Common Core: “Common Core should be thrown out of New Hampshire altogether.”
  • Public education: “I believe more parents should allow their children to opt out of forced schooling and allow them to homeschool.”
  • Testing in general: “In Japan they do not test children until 4th grade. They believe teaching respect, good manners and self-confidence are more important.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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Related Bill

HB 276 (2017)
Bill Status: Killed in the Senate
Hearing date: Mar 28, 2017

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