Educational officials in Massachusetts have been telling parents who desire to opt-out that it is mandatory that their students participate in the PARCC field testing that is occurring, despite not really having legal authority to do so.
Two school committees have bucked that trend. The Worchester School Committee gave parents permission to opt-out, and now the Tantasqua Regional School Committee has done the same.
From the Telegram & Gazzette:
Tantasqua Regional School Committee member William J. Gillmeister of Brookfield made the motion asking for the school’s administration to develop protocol to allow parents of students scheduled to take the PARCC field test to opt out of the testing.
The motion passed with an 8-7 vote.
“I’m opposed to the Common Core and I’m certainly opposed to the PARCC test,” Mr. Gillmeister said. “Students have to take the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System), as well as the field test. And I think that if parents feel this is too much testing for their children, they should have the opportunity to opt out of it.”
In addition, Mr. Gillmeister said the school committee needs to send the Legislature a message that they are placing unnecessary burdens on the school district.
“Unlike the MCAS at one point, where there was some field testing, that was going to happen,” Mr. Gillmeister said. “This particular instance, there is still a great deal of uncertainty as whether or not the PARCC is actually going to be implemented because the board of education still has not finalized that, as well as they have not addressed the question of whether they are going to be offering the PARCC and the MCAS at the same time. There’s just too much uncertainty going on here and I think parents ought to have the opportunity to opt out.”
Also recently the Peabody Federation of Teachers has asked their school committee for a decision on parental opt-out from the PARCC field testing.