Bixby Adopts 'Opt Out' Policy For Standardized Tests


Monday, March 10th 2014, 11:01 pm
By: News On 6


A Green Country school district adopted a new policy on Monday, allowing parents to opt their children out of required state testing. Bixby administrators say parents started complaining back in August about their kids being required to take state tests, and this new policy brings much-needed clarification.

Bixby Schools says it had no policy in place when parents kept their kids at home during required state testing days. Superintendent Kyle Wood said Bixby consulted with the State Board of Education on this new opt out policy.

Parents say they want more control on which tests their children take.

Parent, Sarah Johnson, said, "It would be a very stressful situation for him, and I wouldn't want to put him through that."

Johnson's kids are not old enough to be in elementary yet, but she supports the option of opting out.

"I think it's looking at what's best for the kid the parents to be able to make that decision what's best for the child," Johnson said.

Other parents say state testing helps them know how much their children have learned in school.

"It's important to know where your kid stands within the state," said parent Jamie Conley.

But Conley also understands the value in having a choice for her children.

"They put a lot of pressure on the students, but I think overall they're trying to make sure where they need to be to progressively go forward," Conley said.

"I just know the anxiety that it caused students and I would know the anxiety that it would cause my child," Johnson said.

Bixby administrators say there are consequences for parents who hold their kids from important testing. Kids who opt out of testing could be held back at the third grade.

State law says students need to take standardized tests to move up or graduate high school. If too many students don't take the tests, the State Board of Education could lower the school's letter evaluation grade or fail the district entirely.

The policy will be adopted immediately and will be available for parents to sign.