It's understandable that principals want to discourage their students and students' parents from opting out of this week's state assessment tests, but those opting out say they've gotten more than a little backlash in some cases. Several parents in Buffalo Public Schools have reported that they felt like they were being intimidated by school building leaders and treated with hostility when they chose to opt their children out of tests. The district said it would take all parent complaints seriously.
But parents aren't the only ones getting blowback for refusing to take the tests. DPCC President Sam Radford said some parents report children being reduced to tears for refusing to take the tests.
Finally, at Lorraine Elementary School 72, the principal promoted an annual "Fun Day" at Cazenovia Park for children in grades 3 - 8 to reward students for good behavior. This year's note to parents, however, stated that children with major discipline write-ups AND children who did not take all state assessment tests would not be allowed to participate.
We don't know if this has always been the standard at Lorraine Elementary for children participating in Fun Day. But we DO know that given the backlash against the Common Core-based standardized tests, it shouldn't be a surprise that some parents might be upset to receive such a letter this year.
We asked the district about this. After talking with the principal at Lorraine Elementary, district spokeswoman Elena Cala said there has been a change of heart regarding the standardized test-taking requirement.
“After further review, it was decided by the principal that would not be criteria for Fun Day,” Cala said.
Below is a copy of the letter Lorraine Elementary School parents received.
-- Sandra Tan