Common Core Update: Creative Protests Nationwide
UPDATE: Common Core is having continued, stronger resistence. In Florida, where Common Core-aligned testing is mandatory for students, many parents are still refusing to have their children tested. One school, however, refused to release a fifth grade student when her mother arrived to pick her up. The mother was told that her child was not allowed to leave and that she was not permitted to see her daughter. In response, the frightened mother called 911 and a school respource officer was dispatched. The principal was ordered to release the child per her mothers request.
The tests, which were mostly administered last week, experienced a variety of technical glitches that slowed down the procedure and may have interfered with students’ results. Ohio’s Department of Education announced that it is refusing to financially penalize schools if students to not take the test. Hundreds if not thousands of high school students in New Mexico and New Jersey protested by walking out of their testing rooms or simply not coming to school that day. Some parents of younger students have instructed their children to either break the seal on their testing booklet prematurely, invalidating their test, or simply leave all answers blank.
Parents are now standing up and resisting Common Core in states where it is in effect. Many are outraged by the difficulty, length, and frustrating set-up of the standardized testing mandated by Common Core. Last year, students endured five hours and nine minutes of testing over the course of several days. This year, in states where Common Core is accepted as-is, students as young as seven will be expected to sit through over eleven hours of testing.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed an executive order shortening the length of the test, which he called ‘unacceptable.’ Parents in other states will have to sign a document opting their children out of testing if they do not want them to go through the long exam. Several parent-run organizations have sprung up to raise awareness of what they feel are unfair standards and to protest the implementation of Common Core. The New York State Allies For Public Education advocate parents opting-out of testing for their child and are raising money for informational billboards. Ohioans Against Common Core was founded by a school financial administrator and it’s mission is to advocate opting-out as a means of protecting children and protesting through civil disobediance.
One New Jersey news station filmed parents attempting the Common Core standardized tests. Parents involved in the experiment were quick to complain first about the interace. The test is done entirely on a computer, and parents found it difficult to navigate the program. Upon reaching the actual test, parents complained that the wording was ‘confusing’ and at times ‘impossible to understand.’