Maryland Senate expected to vote on allowing parents to opt out of Common Core tests.

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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

A Maryland senator is proposing an amendment to the state’s fiscal 2016 budget that would allow parents to opt their children out of Common Core tests with impunity to the students and the schools — and the Senate is expected to vote on it as early as Thursday.

Sen. Justin Ready, a Republican, is placing the amendment on the Senate floor, according to his chief of staff, Aaron Jones, to make it easier for parents to choose whether their children can take the PARCC Common Core test next year.  There is now no way for parents to opt out, and schools are deciding for themselves how to handle such requests, with some insisting that children take the tests and others allowing students to leave school with parents or sit somewhere in the school with no assigned schoolwork, Jones said.

Maryland schools have been implementing the Common Core State Standards for several years, and the state is a member of the Partnership for the Assessment of the Readiness for College and Career, one of two multistate consortia created to design new assessments aligned to the Common Core with some $360 million in federal funds. Students have been taking the PARCC in Maryland, as well as in a number of other states, amid a growing protest movement across the country against high-stakes standardized testing. Thousands of parents are opting out their children from taking Common Core exams and a small but growing number of teachers, principals and superintendents are publicly protesting the exams as being detrimental to effective teaching and learning.

[Related: Some parents across the country are revolting against standardized testing]

The Maryland Department of Education said it could not immediately comment on the issue.

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