Testing Opt Out Spreads

Feb 25, 2015

Anna Gilboard and her mother, Kristen Kohlstruk, are encouraging classmates and parents to opt out of standardized testing.
Credit Rita Daniels

High-stakes testing at schools across New Mexico begins next week. So far about 500 parents in Albuquerque have opted out of the tests on behalf of their children.

Fifth-grader Anna Gilboard goes to Bandelier Elementary School in Albuquerque. She opted out. The eleven-year old said she’d rather learn than take tests for hours on end.

“I get super stressed about these tests so I don’t do really well on them,” Gilboard said. “I feel like I’m failing my teacher when I do that.”

Fifty percent of a teacher’s evaluation is based on student test scores.

According to Albuquerque Public Schools, if more than 5 percent of students don’t take the test the school will drop a full letter grade.

A crowd of high school students swarmed the Public Education Department headquarters in Santa Fe earlier this week in a protest over the tests.