How far will a school go to “incentivize” parents into participating in Common Core? If the actions of one New Jersey school are any indication, your child may be placed under “house arrest” in the school for an entire day.
New Jersey parent Michele Thornton’s 9-year old daughter, Cassidy, was recently banned from attending an end of the year party for students at her elementary school because Michele had previously opted her daughter out of New Jersey’s version of Common Core testing, known as the Partnership for Assessment and Readiness for College and Careers exam (PARCC).
Thornton was shocked last week when she discovered the repercussions of her choice to opt her daughter out of PARCC, a decision that would result in her daughter getting excluded from social activities for the other students, and in the form of consistent harassment from school counselors and other administrators.
Since Cassidy was the only child in her third grade class not to take the exam, school officials were going to place her alone in the school library for the rest of the day, a move which caused quite a stir with Michele, causing her to instead go and pick up Cassidy from school early while the other children went on to enjoy “gaming trucks, an outdoor play area (soccer and volleyball), cupcakes, juice boxes, and buckets full of prizes for the kids.”
As if that wasn’t outrageous enough:
The “Untest afternoon” was not the only attempt to guilt Michele and Cassidy over their refusal to take part in PARCC; Cassidy was pulled out of class and drilled with a series of questions as to why she refused to take the PARCC exam. Michele, increasingly frustrated with the administration’s treatment of her daughter, launched a formal complaint, which resulted in an investigation showing that “findings indicate that harassment, intimidation and bullying did not occur.”
If schools are going to ostracize young children for opting out of standardized tests, which is perfectly legal, then we as a community need to start looking for educational alternatives for our kids. Parents and families should be allowed to choose what school best meets the learning needs of their children, not government, and certainly not educators. who are willing to detain a third grader in a library to prove a cheap political point.
Cross-posted at DeneenBorelli.com