Supporters of Common Core have encountered a public relations nightmare recently thanks to technical glitches, student boycotts and a slew of irate parents who are refusing to allow their children to sit for standardized tests.
However, last week marked the first time officials at a taxpayer-funded school have allegedly attempted to confine a student for a Common Core standardized test after her parent arrived on campus to remove the child from class.
The unidentified mother showed up at Brookshire Elementary to pick up her daughter because she wanted to opt the fifth grader out of a Common Core-aligned writing test.
School officials informed the mother that they would not allow her daughter to leave, according to the mother as well as a second parent, Jacqui Myers, who was at the school.
Myers, the parent of a first-grade student, was on the scene at Brookshire Elementary because she is politically active in the local movement to opt students out of Common Core-mandated tests.
“They’re not giving me my child, can you help?” the mother of the fifth grader told Myers, according to the Sentinel.
Myers responded by calling 911.
An emergency responder notified police. The Winter Park Police Department dispatched a school district resource officer to Brookshire Elementary.
Brookshire principal Susan Mulchrone then arranged for the fifth-grade girl to appear in the school’s administrative office so she could leave with her mother, according to school district spokeswoman Shari Bobinski.
Mulchrone’s concern, Bobinski said, was that the girl and other students had been engaged in Florida Standards Assessments testing for a full 20 minutes. They were in the midst of writing standardized test essays.
“We do not hold children if parents come to pick them up,” Bobinski swore to the Sentinel.
Myers, the anti-testing parent, told the newspaper she had seen four parents come by to pick up their children – successfully – before the fifth-grade girl’s mother had her encounter with school officials.
Myers also noted that Mulchrone, the principal, had previously emailed parents to inform them that they could not pick up their own children during the standardized testing period because it could prove disruptive.
Florida state law requires public school students to participate in the Common Core-aligned tests.
Parents who want their students to opt out have organized. They have told their children to break the seals on their test booklets or log into computer-adaptive tests, but then decline to answer any questions or write anything.
The rollout of new Common Core-mandated standardized tests around the country has run into a series of embarrassing but predictable problems, as schools have grappled with both technical glitches and a growing movement of hostile parents who refuse to let their children take the tests – which are now being administered for the first time in several states.
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 currently requires that 95 percent of students take various statewide standardized tests.
Last week, the Ohio Department of Education announced that its taxpayer-funded school districts won’t suffer financial penalties if students refuse to participate in Common Core-mandated standardized tests.
In New Mexico, several hundred high schoolers attracted national attention when they walked out of class to protest the exams.
New Jersey is facing a deluge of anti-standardized test hooky.
In 2014, Florida education officials announced plans to fool everybody by rebranding Common Core as the “Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.”