Sound Stories. Sound Voices.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
You are on the KUOW archive site. Click here to go to our current site.

Seattle Schools Makes Opting Out Of Tests Difficult, Activists Say

Sebrena Burr, who has a sixth-grader in Seattle Public Schools, protests the district's standardized tests outside district headquarters.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld
/
Sebrena Burr, right, who has a sixth-grader in Seattle Public Schools, protests the district's standardized tests outside district headquarters.

A group of parents, teachers and activists is demanding that Seattle Schools make it easier for families to opt out of standardized tests.

Gerald Hankerson, the president of the Seattle-King County branch of the NAACP, said test results should not be the focus -- funding schools should be.Hankerson: "Because obviously as we see in our state, we cannot even afford to be able to provide the tools to give our kids the skills to pass these tests."

More KUOW: #Manintree Mom Heartbroken By Years Of Trying To Help Son

Parent Sebrena Burr said the tests take away from learning and make many kids feel like failures.

Burr: "When our teachers get back this data, it's irrelevant. It's putting labels on our kids that they're less than the brilliance that they are."

At Wednesday's school board meeting the group presented a list of demands, including that the district communicate to families in advance that they have the right to opt out of tests and that kids who opt out should be given other work to do during testing, and not punished for skipping the test.

More KUOW: Photos: 17 Fantastical Murals Rise Up From Greenwood Explosion

Last spring, thousands of students across Washington opted out of the new state test.

Year started with KUOW: 2008