Will 'National Opt Out Day' Spark a Testing Backlash?

National Opt Out Day wants to put a stop to high-stakes testing.

Can a grassroots movement "end the reign of fear and terror promoted by the high-stakes testing agenda"? That’s the hope of today’s National Opt Out Day, an effort organized by United Opt Out, a group seeking to eliminate standardized tests from public education.

The day of action is strategically timed one day before the 10th anniversary of No Child Left Behind, which began an era of federally mandated testing in reading and math. The group wants students, parents, and community members to write letters or postcards to their school districts explaining that they will opt their children out of testing. They're also asking local Occupy movements to support the effort.

John Kuhn, superintendent of the school district in Perrin, Texas, says says he supports the coordinated effort to oppose testing. Kuhn says Texas students now spend 45 out of 180 school days administering standardized tests, and he's seen "music, art, history, and science withering" as a result.

Yong Zhao, the presidential chair and associate dean for global education at the College of Education at the University of Oregon, has advocated for the movement as well. Zhao says testing "has wasted valuable, precious, and dwindling public funds that could have been put into educating rather than testing our children" and has not solved the achievement gap NCLB was designed to address.

If enough parents decide to opt out, the day of action could have long-lasting effects on some school districts—if fewer than 96 percent of a school's students take the test, the results aren't considered valid. "If everyone opts out in mass," United Opt Out website says, there will be "no test data to punish students, teachers and communities."

Photo via (cc) Flickr user -- Slavin

via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading