Rep. Reed Tests Opt Out Proposal

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Washington D.C. -- It's that time again, when students sit down for end of year testing.

“Right now testing is going on as we speak and you're hearing stories of kids that are crying and they're just so stressed out. They're not capable or in a position to take these tests,” Reed said.

Congressman Tom Reed of New York is fighting back against required standardized testing like the Common Core Initiative, which tests students proficiency in math and English. He is introducing the EMPOWER Act- giving parents the power to opt-out their children from taking the exams.

“It's standing with our parents, standing with our teachers and saying what's good in Western New York may not be good in California,” Reed said.

Reed said in 60 districts in New York, students who opt-out outnumber those who took the test. But if you don't fill in the circle on the standardized test, it could cost you and your school district. According to the U.S. Department of Education, federal money can be withheld if there isn't 95% participation rate.

But Reed said that would change with his legislation.

“When parents make the decision that their children are not going to take these tests, that school districts, teachers, there's no going to be any penalties,” Reed said.

Reed said something needs to be done before this hurts the schools, its teachers and most important its students.

“We can do better, we need to do better, for the sake of our children and our schools.”

Reed said his next step is to get back to the drawing board to rework the Common Core standards.

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