New school tests spur anger, absences

More area school parents are taking a "none of the above" stance and yanking their kids from what they say is excessive new testing.

And some area school superintendents are joining them by taking rare, public positions in opposition to state education officials' backing of new Common Core-inspired testing for grades three through 12 in Ohio.

The tests, which are new this school year, have triggered various objections. Some parents worry about the new exams' frequency, complexity and what they see as lack of educational value. Others fear schools will share data about their child's performance. Still others worry about the shift away from pencil and paper to using computerized exams.

But the most common complaint is that local school districts are losing their autonomy to state, federal officials and private corporate backers of Common Core, a sweeping set of education reforms that have drawn both strong supporters and opponents in recent years.

Common Core backers tout the new academic standards' uniformity - to various degrees the reforms were adopted by all but four states - and its extensive testing as adding accountability to American student achievement assessments.

Many Greater Cincinnati districts are now putting thousands of students through the new exams that are drawing complaints and accusations of unduly pressuring students.

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