Some New York parents are outraged after learning their children who opted out of Common Core testing are being forced to sit and stare for hours at a time while the other children take exams.
According to the New York State United Teachers Union, at least 15 school districts in the state are choosing the sit-and-stare policy for students who opt out of testing, a local ABC affiliate reported.
“I’ve been going back and forth with the school principal,” said Kimberly Salisbury, whose daughter attends Marion Elementary School. “Basically, she told me my daughter will have to sit in her classroom for the remainder of the test.”
Kathryn Wegman, superintendent of the Marion Central School District, said in a statement to 13WHAM News: “[T]he State Education Department regulations and guidance do not provide an alternative setting or activity for those students who might refuse to take a test. The District does not have the right, nor the staff and space to provide an alternative setting.”
New York students in grades 3 through 8 will take the tests starting Tuesday and will continue throughout the week.
Miss Wegman said that the district is allowing parents to take their children out of school during this period — an option that may be difficult for working parents.
New York State United Teachers President Richard Iannuzzi recently came out against the sit-and-stare policy.
“This policy aimed at students whose parents elect to opt out their children from state standardized testing in unconscionable,” he said in a February statement. “Punishing or embarrassing children because their parents exercised their right to choose not to have their children participate in tests they consider inappropriate is, frankly, abusive.”
While the Common Core program creates a set of national standards aimed to ensure that all children are equally prepared as they advance to the next level, the model has come under intense fire for acting as a “one size fits all” learning tool for kids.
Just last week, Indiana became the first state to formally withdraw from using the Common Core standards.