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The Exchange

The Opt Out Debate: Should Students Have to Take Standardized Tests?

Osair Manassan

It's a growing group nationally: parents who refuse to let their children take statewide assessments such as those aligned with Common Core. Now, New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a bill allowing parents to do the same without fear of penalty, arguing these tests do more harm than good. But test-backers say they provide valuable information.


  • Andrew Ujifusa, reporter for Education Week. He covers education policy at the federal and state levels and writes for the Politics K-12 blog.
  • JR Hoell, Republican representative from Dunbarton. The House voted on March 23 on his bill allowing students to opt out of assessment tests without penalty. The bill also forbids the state from penalizing districts who have low test participation rates.
  • Tom Raffio, chairman of the State Board of Education
  • Mark Conrad, superintendent of the Nashua School District.
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