‘It’s become teach the test;’ parents opt out of SOLs

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HENRICO, Va. – A local organization made up of parents from multiple school districts is pushing for the end of standardized education in schools.

“They're not just a test,” said Kristal Oppert. “My kids are more than just a test score."

Oppert is part of RVA Opt Out, an organization pushing for the end of standardized education. The Chesterfield mom of seven has five children in school and has opted them out of SOL testing.

“I can see a level of anxiety rising in these kids who don't have testing anxiety because you're putting so much emphasis on the pretest and the assessments and they spent so much time doing this that they're missing great teachable moments,” Oppert said.

Mother Lauren Black agreed with her.

“It’s on our minds and we are worried about it,” Black said. “What do we do?”

“We don't want her to feel like she's ostracized from the classroom because we don't want her to take that test,” Black continued. “She doesn't need that pressure.”

Kelly Llewellyn, a former teacher, said she left her position in a public school setting to homeschool her children.

“The one SOL test isn't the biggest issue,” she said. “It's the eight months before of all of the prep assignments and by the time you look out there on the day of the test, the kids--they are so over it.”

“So it's becoming teach the test,” she added.

Llewellyn and Oppert said parents have a right to say no to the test.

“No one is going to come back and know your SOL scores from seventh-grade or your scores from 12th grade, or any grade – I don’t think that people know that,” Oppert said.