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As one of our over 6.9 million FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to vote YES on the Lee amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act, S. 1177. This amendment would allow parents to opt their children out of standardized tests for any reason.
Federal testing mandates and an overemphasis on testing in general are harming state autonomy, and the ability of teachers to effectively manage classroom time. By focusing too heavily on test results, teachers are forced to devote their time to test preparation rather than training children how to think critically, a perverse incentive that has led to at least one mass cheating scandal.
The high-stakes nature of constant testing can be psychologically damaging to students, and parents should have the option of excusing their children from excessive testing. The ability to opt out should not be dependent on narrow exceptions, such as religious objections, but should be open to all. This amendment, sponsored by Senator Mike Lee, requires states to notify parents of all required assessments, and permits the parents to opt out for any reason whatsoever. Furthermore, the children who decline the test will not count towards school participation requirements, ensuring that individual schools are not punished for parents who exercise their rights.
Please contact your senators and ask that they vote YES on the Lee amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act, S. 1177. FreedomWorks will count the vote on this amendment as a Key Vote when calculating our Congressional Scorecard for 2015. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of Congress who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.