Some Virginia parents refuse to let their children take SOLs

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on May 14, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 14 at 5:47 PM

NORFOLK -- Some parents are fighting to stop their children from taking standardized state tests, arguing the exams put too much pressure on the kids and drain their creativity. 

Last year, students in Virginia didn’t take about 1,000 tests because their parents refused to let them.  That's a growing trend across the country.

“We’ve always had students to refuse to take a test. We do want to know more about it,” Virginia Department of Education spokesperson Charles Pyle said.

While schools must give SOL tests, parents can decide not to allow their kids to participate. Passing SOL tests isn’t required for students to move onto the next grade in elementary and middle school, but there can be consequences for high school students.

“If a student needs to take a test to earn a high school diploma, then the student doesn’t earn the verified credit. It counts as a fail,” Pyle noted.

Kids who don’t take SOL tests earn a zero, which can hurt the school’s accreditation rating. According to state data, most students do take the SOL tests. That’s about 3 million tests each year.

Right now, the state doesn’t have a good method tracking who's not taking the test because their parents won’t allow it.

Next year, there will be place on the tests where students can make that note.

 

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