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New State Assessments Have Parents Choosing To 'Opt-Out'

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Students will begin taking the PARCC assessments starting Feb. 17.

State testing under the new Common Core standards starts next week and school officials are expecting very low scores.

The effect the results could have on teachers, students and districts is unclear.  

The new assessments are harder, take longer to finish and the kids will be choosing answers with a click of the mouse instead of a pencil. State School Board Member A.J. Wagner took the 4th and 5th grade practice tests and says the reading and comprehension levels were tough even for him. He also points out the digital exam is stretching some districts thin.

“They’re actually grabbing every computer they have in the school to assign for these tests. And that means kids won’t have access to computers where they normally do,” Wagner said.

Lawmakers have already passed a measure to shield teachers from repercussions if the scores are really bad. Though they did leave the final decision up to individual districts.

There are also parents having their kids “opt-out” of testing. The Ohio education department is warning there could be consequences if the students don’t participate like not advancing to the next grade or, in some cases, not graduating. But it’s not clear if those warnings are more bark than bite.