Blog Post

Frustrated Students Walk Out on Common Core Test

student testHundreds of frustrated high school students from several New Mexico schools have decided to join a growing number of students across America who are walking out on Common Core assessment tests that they say are excessive, a waste of teaching time, and detrimental to their overall education.

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting on the latest walkout, which involved hundreds of students from various New Mexico schools who were scheduled to take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, in New Mexico, which is among a dozen states who are debuting the new tests this year.

Students at Highland High School, Albuquerque High School, Del Norte High School, Volcano Vista High School, Rio Rancho High School and Cleveland High School took part in the walkouts despite being warned by administrators that demonstrations could result in disciplinary action.

The threats were not enough to dissuade the students who have become frustrated with the excessive testing requirements of the controversial Common Core curriculum and who are hoping the walkouts will get the attention of state education officials.

Carrying signs that read "More teaching, less testing," and "Out the door with Common Core," 16 year-old Highland High student Connor Guiney told the AP that the tests are “an excess of time being used and an unfair evaluation of teachers. We don't appreciate that and we wanted to make a stand."

Maya Quinones, 18, an Albuquerque High School senior, was told by school administrators that walking out on the test could result in being banned from graduation ceremonies.

"If we make something happen, if next year comes around and the PARCC test is gone, then I feel like we're successful," said Quinones, an organizer of the protest. "And you know what? As long as I get my diploma, I'm all right. I don't have to walk in line."

Another student, Julie Guevara, 16, believes the testing is taking away from their overall education and is hoping New Mexico’s governor Susana Martinez will do something about it.

"We're not going away and plan to do this again until the testing is done," Guevara told the AP.

Students aren’t the only ones who are frustrated with the tests. Teachers are also upset because the excessive number of tests required by the curriculum is forcing them to “teach to the test” rather than allowing them to provide a more comprehensive review of the various subjects. Parents are equally frustrated and tired of seeing their children struggle to complete poorly designed assignments that are often difficult to understand and unnecessarily complicated.

As a result, various states such as Pennsylvania, Colorado and New York have opted out of the test with Florida Governor Rick Scott being the latest to wade into the controversy by suspending testing for 11th graders in his state.

“In New York, around 5 percent of students -- roughly 67,000 -- sat out the statewide math test taken by 1.1 million of their peers last year,” the AP reports.

“Pennsylvania saw 1,064 students statewide opt out of required math tests last year, a tiny percentage of the 803,000 exams given but a nearly fivefold increase from the number who opted out in 2011, according to that state's Education Department.”

The Common Core curriculum was developed for grades K-12 and was designed to impose a national standard of achievement among U.S. students.

It has already been scrapped in states such as Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Louisiana.

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