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Lexington Parents Boycott Standardized Testing
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Story By: Brian Skowronski



  Originally Published on: 5/16/2014

With standardized testing taking place all over the state the last couple of weeks, stakes are high for school districts to achieve high scores for federal funding, while teachers rely on positive scores to improve evaluations.

But what's in it for the students? One Lexington family believes there is no value for students who take standardized tests and have opted their children out of it.

Kandee Childers and longtime boyfriend Richard Shoemake informed the Lexington school district by formal letter that their 11 and 13 year-old daughters, who suffer from extreme anxiety, would not participate in Ohio Achievement Assessment tests. Initially the school allowed the students to attend class and participate in other activities, until Wednesday, when Superintendent Mike Ziegelhofer informed them they would be administered the tests if present at school.

Ziegelhofer made this decision based on the district's attorney Andrew Burton's recommendation that every child who attends class must be administered the test according to state law. However, according to John Charleton, Associate Director of Media Relations for the Ohio Department of Education, parents have the right under state guidelines to opt their children out of standardized testing if a written statement is submitted to the school outlining their request.

Because Richard and Kandee followed this protocol, they elected to pull their children out of class for the remainder of the week and will keep them at home until testing ends on May 19, or the district allows them to attend class without taking the tests.

The family has hired an attorney to help resolve the issue and are determined to fight on their children's behalf until a resolution is met.

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