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Leg Hall rally offers support to opt-out legislation

James Dawson/Delaware Public Media

Around two dozen people gathered Wednesday at Legislative Hall in support of an opt-out bill that would allow parents to exempt their kids from standardized testing.


Senator David Lawson (R-Marydel), who is cosponsoring the bill with Representative John Kowalko (D-Newark South), said standardized testing has changed from when he was in school decades ago.


"It was standardized to bring our children up and to test what they knew, not to test the government intervention, and not to test the vendor’s product. And that’s what we’re doing," said Lawson.


Kevin Ohlandt, the parent of a special needs student and writer of the education blog “Exceptional Delaware”, organized the event. He said the results of standardized testing are being used to determine far too much.


"As a kid I took all the bubble tests that a lot of my generation did, and those tests did provide data, however, they weren’t used to measure schools, to measure teachers in the way that they are now," he said.


Delaware’s largest teacher’s union, the DSEA, put out a statement saying they support a parent's right to opt their child out of standardized testing. The organization said that  “the over-emphasis on standardized testing has caused considerable collateral damage in too many schools.”


The opt-out bill will get a hearing April 22, the week that the legislature reconvenes after their spring break.

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