Parents are opting their kids out of stringent Common Core state-mandated tests. What started as a small number of parents opting out to protest an unnecessary focus on standardized tests has grown to a larger number of parents who want to take their kids out of the educational rat race.
The Common Core dilemma is described by one Buffalo news source as:
Last year, the movement picked up steam as the new Common Core-aligned tests came out, fueling concerns that testing time has increased and that the tests are too difficult, putting too much pressure on children, particularly because the test results were now linked to teacher evaluations.
The opt-out parent revolution is growing—enough to cause concern in state school districts that don’t know what to do with kids who aren’t required to take standardized tests. Since parents were involved in the opt-out process in the first place, they also want a say in their child’s activity while standardized tests are in progress.
In translation, kids shouldn’t be punished for their parents’ choice to opt them out of the test. Some school districts have taken the matter quite seriously and have established policies that “require all students to remain at their desks during the testing period, which can go as long as 70 minutes, and do nothing.”
In response to this, one parent called a school superintendent a “child abuser:”
“Forcing an innocent child to sit in silence in a hard chair for prolonged periods of time with nothing to do for several days is a violation of child care laws,” Mihelbergel wrote to him.
As you might expect, parents are up in arms about children who are required to “sit and stare” after they have been opted out of standardized tests. I am still learning about Common Core as my children are not yet school-age, but I would also be irritated if my child received unfair treatment because of an educational decision that I made on his behalf.
Calling the “sit and stare” policy child abuse is a touch dramatic, but I get where the parent is coming from. Parents and school districts are in the midst of a heated Common Core debate. Opt-out kids should be accommodated without being made to feel ostracized or guilty.
(Image: Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock)