Parents cannot opt their kids out of Common Core-mandated testing in the state of Arizona, according to the state’s attorney general.
Attorney General Mark Brnovic issued this edict in response to a request from the state superintendent of education, Diane Douglas, to clarify whether parents were within their rights under state law to keep their kids from taking the statewide assessment test, known in Arizona as AZMerit.
The AZMerit test — a battery of standardized exams that has come under significant fire in the Grand Canyon State for its futility — is administered annually to the state’s 1.1 million public and charter school students.
Last year, there was a movement among many parents concerned about the potential for data mining and other controversial uses of such tests to boycott them, keeping their kids home from school and the announced test administration days.
One of these groups, OptOutAZ, reported on several significant problems with the statewide assessment tests (and the company that created them) in an information sheet provided for parents who were considering opting their children out of the exams.
For example, OptOutAZ revealed that the test is not unique to Arizona, as had been reported by the state government, but in reality the test
was created by the company AIR (American Institutes for Research) — the same company that created Utah’s and Florida’s Common Core assessments. AIR is a partner of Smarter Balanced who is one of two testing consortia that received $330 million from the U.S. Department of Education to create and administer Common Core tests. So far, the sample test questions are the exact same as Utah’s and Florida’s.
Furthermore, and perhaps most shocking of all, the parental rights advocacy group informed parents that the data obtained by AIR on the AZMerit tests would be stored on databases that are shared with the U.S. Department of Labor.