As New York State begins Common Core-aligned testing on April 4th, Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) is leading a letter to the Department of Education reasserting parents and students’ right to opt-out of high stakes federal testing. Eighteen additional Members of Congress signed the letter. “We care about helping our kids achieve their greatest potential. That is why the process of educating our kids should be left up to parents, local governments and teachers,” said Reed. “It’s only right that we get Washington bureaucrats out of our classrooms and that I what I am fighting to do.”
The move comes after the Department of Education sent a letter to states warning of financial penalties for states and school districts that fail to meet certain testing targets. The recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which Reed supported, empowers parents and gives states increased flexibility in student opt-out. Reed’s letter clarifies congressional intent, including the expectation that the Department of Education support states in implementing ESSA.
“I am proud to stand up for students and parents in their right to opt-out. It is time the Department of Education do as Congress has legislated, and return power to the States where it belongs,” said Reed.
Other Members of Congress who signed the letter include: Reps. Joyce, Lummis, Gibson, Cramer, Walker, Huelskamp, Meehan, Ross, Byrne, Katko, Grothman, Olson, Bost, McKinley, David Young, Zeldin, Salmon, and Crawford.