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Anti-Common Core groups urge parents to opt out of new state test

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Nearly 800,000 Michigan students are scheduled to take a new standardized test this month. But some parents may opt their kids out of the test.

The new Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, or M-STEP, is replacing the old MEAP test.  Third through 8th grade students will take the M-STEP exam beginning next week.  Roughly 80% of the students will take the test online. 

But some groups oppose the new test and its ties to Common Core standards.  They are encouraging parents to pull their children from the testing.

“The protest here, the civil disobedience if you want to say it, is to protect our children from being guinea pigs to an experiment,” says Melanie Kurdys, with the Freedom to Learn coalition.  

State education officials defend the state’s curriculum. 

And they defend M-STEP.   

Bill DiSessa is a Michigan State Department of Education spokesman.  

He says M-STEP will provide a way to follow the progress students make academically. 

DiSessa says federal law requires 95% of students in a school district take the standardized test.

“If they don’t meet that rate, there can be some very real consequences,” says DiSessa.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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