Characteristics of the opt-out movement: Early evidence for Colorado

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Abstract

Testing and accountability measures have continued to expand since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001. In addition to school and district accountability, student test scores increasingly formed the foundation of teacher performance metrics. State participation rates exceeded the 95% minimum prescribed by law despite increasing opposition to many testing requirements. However, the rollout of the Common Core aligned PARCC tests in 2015 marked the start of a backlash against state mandated testing. The movement, commonly called opt-out, encouraged families not to participate in required tests. We use pooled OLS regression on statewide panel data from Colorado schools to examine school-level characteristics in one of the states with the largest declines in test participation. We find the prevalence of opt-out is largest in charter schools, suburban and rural areas, higher performing schools, and schools with a higher proportion of White students. 

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How to Cite
Clayton, G., Bingham, A. J., & Ecks, G. B. (2019). Characteristics of the opt-out movement: Early evidence for Colorado. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 27, 33. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.27.4126
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Author Biographies

Grant Clayton, University of Colorado- Colorado Springs

Grant Clayton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. His primary research interests are in education policy, concurrent enrollment, and teacher preparation.

Andrea J. Bingham, University of Colorado- Colorado Springs

Andrea J. Bingham is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership, Research, and Foundations at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. Her research addresses organizational change and instructional reform.

Gregory B. Ecks, University of Colorado- Colorado Springs

Gregory B. Ecks is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs and serves fulltime as Director Student Support & Engagement at Colorado Springs District 11. His research interest is in student engagement including attendance and discipline.