The lieutenant governor made his remarks Monday, as the state entered the first official week of standardized testing.
However, many larger school districts — some of them hotbeds of the opt-out movement — began testing last week. While precise numbers of students skipping the tests won’t be available for several weeks (many school districts are declining to release numbers until after the testing window has closed), social media and anecdotal reports suggest a sharp increase in opt-outs at several Front Range schools.
Garcia’s statement goes on to say: “With full participation, we can ensure that every student gets a great education. We can ensure teachers and other educators get the credit they deserve for their incredible efforts. That’s why I’m urging students to take the test and that’s why I’m asking parents to encourage their kids to participate.”
While the depth and breadth of the anti-testing movement has increased, different motivations drive different players in the movement. For example, teachers are concerned about testing eating up too much instructional time; parents have concerns about data privacy; Republicans believe the tests, which are aligned to the Common Core State Standards amount to federal overreach.
The Colorado General Assembly is expected to take up the testing debate later this spring.