Not Many Local Students Opting Out of Tests

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After much debate and concern leading up to the beginning of testing for schools throughout Ohio, relatively few parents are choosing to “opt-out” of the testing for their children in two Athens County school districts.

Superintendents with Federal Hocking Local and Athens City Schools have experienced low numbers of students who opted out of the testing this past week which included the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments.

Federal Hocking Supt. George Wood stated that there have been two parents opt-out for their children as of Friday afternoon.

Numbers are likewise low at Athens City Schools. Acting Supt. Tom Gibbs stated that four of the district’s buildings had a total of eight students opt-out of the testing.

Numbers for Morrison-Gordon Elementary and Athens Middle School were not available on Friday afternoon.
Gibbs added that it may not be known until the makeup exams are given if there are other students who are being kept home to avoid taking the test rather than opting out.

The tests have also been delayed at most schools due to the winter weather resulting in a lot of rescheduling.

“It’s crazy to have testing in February,” said Wood. He credited the hard work of the teachers and staff for making things work along with the dedication of the parents in getting their children to school despite the bad weather and limited bus routes.

Despite that, there are still many issues concerning the tests according to Wood.

“Things are not going well. We are spending all the time testing and not teaching,” said Wood. He added that the testing, under the current process, may take up to a year to know the scores and that there has not been a range for passing released at this point.

As for the concerns of parents, Gibbs stated that many of the concerns he had received seem to have been answered through an email sent out last week about the testing.

Representatives from Alexander, Nelsonville-York and Trimble could not be reached for comment on Friday regarding the number of students who had opted out of the test or how testing was going at the schools.