A total of 14 school districts have passed resolutions aimed at preventing schools from being penalized for students who skip Common Core tests, according to the Louisiana Schools Boards Association.
The action is part of what backers call the “opt out” movement — students and parents who object to Common Core exams set for March 16-20.
Common Core represents new standards in reading, writing and math that are being fully implemented in the current school year.
Next month’s exams mark the first time that students will take the tests in earnest.
Officials of the state Department of Education and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education have said that students who skip the test will produce zeroes for themselves, their schools and school districts.
Four members of BESE have requested a special meeting to discuss the issue.
But Chas Roemer, president of the panel, has said there is no need for such a gathering.
Test plans are expected to be on the agenda for BESE’s regularly scheduled meeting on March 5-6.
The LSBA said districts that have approved resolutions asking that the state change plans to penalize schools are Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, DeSoto, Evangeline, Iberia, Jackson, Jeff Davis, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany and Washington.
Officials in St. Helena said Tuesday no such resolution has been approved there.
Gov. Bobby Jindal, a former Common Core backer who now opposes the new standards, has also asked that students who want to skip the exams be allowed to take alternate assessments.
How many students plan to skip the tests is unclear.
School leaders in districts where the issue is getting lots of attention say the action could damage schools and school districts when the state issues annual school performance scores, which are linked to letter grades.
Common Core backers have questioned whether the opt-out movement is widespread or just reflects the worries of a relatively small number of families.
They also argue that letting some students take other tests would damage Louisiana’s school accountability system.
About 300,000 students are scheduled to take the tests.
The issue is expected to spark controversy during the LSBA’s annual meeting in Shreveport on Feb. 22-24, including a gubernatorial debate on public school topics.
It may also be a topic on Thursday when about two dozen superintendents meet at 9 a.m.
Follow Will Sentell on Twitter @WillSentell. For more coverage of Louisiana government and politics, follow our Politics blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog/