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Florida court says school children must take standardized tests

3-judge panel throws out ruling by lower court

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Florida appeals court says school districts have a right to hold third-graders back when they score badly on a mandated standardized reading test.

A three-judge panel on Tuesday threw out a ruling by a lower court judge who said school districts must consider options other than students' performances on the Florida Standards Assessment test when deciding whether to promote a student.

The decision is a blow to parents who try to "opt out" of standardized tests. Parents in six counties instructed their children to fill in their names on the test and not answer any questions. School officials told the children that they would have to repeat third grade.

The appeals court said the state has a compelling interest to make sure children can read before promoting them.

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