Student Discrimination Resolution Pulled

You may remember that two weeks ago, Rep. Vincent Pierre voluntarily deferred HB-536 in the House education committee in lieu of a resolution to address the issue of student discrimination as it relates to student who have opted out of state assessment. It took a little longer than expected, but with the help of Scott Richard, Executive Director of the Louisiana School Boards Association, we managed to produce a resolution that would encourage school governing authorities to develop policies related to state assessments that foster positive relationships with the communities they serve. In addition, it encouraged the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) to revisit its policy to assign zeros to opt-outs in the school performance score calculation and the requirement of state assessment scores to participate in certain activities and organizations. The resolution was read into the House calendar late in the evening of Tuesday, May 30th, and scheduled for the education committee on the 31st.

By the time I arrived at the State Capitol for today’s committee meeting, Rep. Pierre had already been informed that the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), Stand for Children, Council for A Better Louisiana (CaBL), Louisiana Federation for Children (AFC) and LDOE  would oppose the resolution because of the requests to BESE and LDOE regarding accountability. In addition, I was informed that the House Education Chairperson, Rep. Nancy Landry, was actively lobbying against the resolution in the House Chamber after it was read into the calendar.

To his credit, Rep. Pierre offered me the option to go before the committee, or voluntarily defer the resolution. I feel strongly that we could have gotten it out of the committee, but to have it killed on the house floor and go virtually unnoticed was not an option. We agreed to defer.

In many ways, the point was made in committee with the original bill. There is an inherit conflict between what federal law requires, what BESE policy is and the parent’s right to exclude their child from testing. Regretfully, it created the appearance that this was a problem in only one parish and was a result of a few bad decisions. I cannot stress how incorrect that is.

Below is a partial list of complaints from parents across the state. The majority of the complaints are from the 2015 testing year, but about 1/3 are from 2016. The severity of the complaints range from almost insignificant to pretty severe. The names of the students, parents, teachers and administrators have been removed for privacy. They represent 21 school districts.

Ascension Parish
All children that are in attendance, on time and take the PARCC Test will be given several free dress days. I opted my child out of testing and was told that she does not meet the criteria of the “reward system”. She will be on time and in attendance, but will not take the test. Punishment by alienation! I did e-mail the principal and vice principal, but they only respond with phone calls and nothing in writing. There is nothing on the monthly calendar, website or blackboard concerning the “reward system” and PARCC Testing

Bossier Parish
I don’t think it is right for the children that opted out to be kept in the lunchroom like prisoners. I do have picture to prove it. Not fair for them to face a wall or have to stand if they turn around.

Caddo Parish
About two weeks before the testing started, my daughter expressed to her teacher during class that she was opting out. A few minutes later the teacher told the whole 4th grade class that the school was a B school and if anyone doesn’t take the test the school gets a zero, so it would be their (kids) fault if the school’s grade goes down.

Calcasieu Parish
My daughter was written up and sent to isi today for putting her head down during testing. She was opted out and put her head down. She was punished for it.

I was just told by the principal that if my son does not take the test, and chooses to bring down the school grade (and making the school look bad)… he can NOT participate in ANY school activities including sports and/or clubs. I asked if this also went for next school year because of THIS YEAR’S opt out and he said yes. So basically they feel it necessary to punish the child extra curricularly, and for all years attending the school. My question is…Can they do this legally?

My daughter wrote OPT OUT on her answer sheet and was asked by the teacher why she did that. She also withheld candy from her because she didn’t test. All the testers received 4 pieces of hard candy to eat while testing 10 kids opted out in my sons class. After being told several times if they don’t take the test they will receive zeros and have to take remedial math next year ­ 5 kids decided to take the test because they were scared to have to take remedial. He also said teachers refused to accept notes from parents. I suppose this is why they continuously tried to convince them all to take it…. If they didn’t have the notes then they can say they weren’t instructed by a parent perhaps. Sad shame!

My 6th grader was forced child to fill out test info and sign name…even after child said my mom told me not to write on this…she said I have the letter right here from parish that says you have to….I told her to write it up and send to me.

The Principal sent out a notice to teachers stating that classes who had 100% of the students who came to school on time, completed testing and tried their best would receive an additional 30 minute recess and students who did all of the above would be given a “free dress” pass each day. All students who receive a free dress pass will be entered into a drawing for a free iPad Mini. Children who did not test would not receive the additional recess or the free dress passes. This is despicable. What about the children who were opted out of testing by their parents? They will be bullied endlessly by the children who don’t receive all of these “incentives” because of that child being opted out of testing. This is encouraging bullying if I have ever seen it. I have a photo of the notice sent out to the teachers and would be happy to email it to you if you will send me your email address.

They said my child would receive a zero and this would stay on their record until college. Also the work they are giving to complete is an insane amount for one day. And that all work will be completed for a grade and that each day for each class they will receive a failing grade for that day

Each day, test-takers were given a food treat that was specifically not given to opt-out students. Opt-out students joined test-takers on the playground at recess and were forced to watch the students enjoy their food treat. When my opt-out student asked for this treat, and was denied because he/she didn’t take the test.Test-takers in her class were allowed to nap after they completed the test, while other students were finishing. My opt-out student asked to his/her head down after completing the opt-out assignment, and was told that was not allowed, and was given another assignment.

The middle school has given each opted out child the option of coming in after lunch (no tardiness or absence issues) or sitting with other opted out children and doing packet work. Now, the elementary has told me that each child HAS to be at school on time each day or they will be marked tardy, If attending after testing.

Both of my children said the “packet work” was really hard and not exactly what they’ve been learning. They both cried and dreaded this packet work just as much as taking the PARCC test. This is not ok. It feels like punishment work. They are not allowed to do anything but the packet, NOTE these packets are NOT for a grade… but the kids are forced to do them. No reading quietly… no actual learning going on. Just punishment work.

Central School District
All students who opted out had to stay in cafeteria and read while all students who tested got to go eat ice cream for taking the test. My 8th graders advanced teacher told them she did not like them right now for ruining her job. That to me is bullying the students. They were told if they didn’t stay busy and made one sound they would be suspended. My child felt like she needed to take the test tomorrow so her teachers would not be mad at her. That’s not right. This was not her decision and the kids should not be punished or mistreated because of it. And this is just day 1.

I opted my 7th grader out of PARCC testing. She came home this afternoon stating that they were given a Math packet to work on which is fine as long as it pertains to stuff she is learning about in class. Approximately 110 students were brought to the Cafeteria during PARCC testing time. The staff told the students that the 200 plus questions must be completed in 2 hours and they WILL BE grades for this. How can these students be graded on this if it is not assigned by their math teacher? I emailed the school principal regarding this. Also, all the students who took the PARCC test were given a 20 minute outside break and ice cream as an incentive. The students that did not take the PARCC test had to stay inside and read. My daughter feels she is being punished for a decision that I as her parent decided.

Daughter reports kids taking parcc are being rewarded with ice cream for following the “rubric” (not talking) opt kids are immediately suspending if they talk. Also opt out kids are being given assignments like those on the parcc test and being graded for them which can have an adverse effect on their grades!!!

On Monday, 3/16/15, my child, along with every other middle school student who were opted out and sent to the cafeteria during the PARCC test, was told by the assistant principal that they were in a “testing environment… and anyone that disrupts will be suspended. No after-school clinic, no Saturday school, straight to suspension.”

The students were issued Common Core packets which they were told would be graded. The packets included math and science. Upon my child turning in her packet, she was issued a second packet and advised the same. The two packets combined were over 250 questions, which a large part of the material my child had never been taught the subject matter. These packets were only issued to opted out students and consequently, only those students will be issued grades for the untaught material. This is punitive and retribution towards the children for matters which they have no control over.

Tuesday, the students were issued packets containing math and ELA. They also were required to write an essay on the ancient way to make fire. The opted out students will be graded on both the packet and the essay.

The testing students were awarded Incentive Time (free time) water, peppermints, snacks and ice-cream for their participation in the PARCC test. The ice-cream was specifically awarded based on the students’ performance on the PARCC test, such as using the process of elimination and other testing skills. The students who were actually being graded on Common Core material, the opted out students, were offered no such reward for these same qualitative measures used.

The principal told the students today, 3/17/15, that he was put in “a difficult position” with regards to the PARCC test opt outs. I feel like this was a tactic to make the students resent the parents for opting them out of the test.

My child was taken out of class for a total of 3 hours for a 75 minute test. Those children that did take the test, got ice cream and those that opted out, had to sit at a table and read. Teachers have made comments to my child about opting out for a week now.

Concordia Parish
My daughter was told by her teacher that she would be put in a b group next year, also cupcakes were brought to school by the teacher who said they were only for the kids who took the test so my child was left out the class was also told that they get a free dress day only if they took the test and another treat tomorrow also for the kids who took the test. Me opting my child out was not a personal attack against this teacher or any teacher nor the school but to stand up for what I believe however I feel these things are done personally to my child as an attack due to me opting her out.

The school made an announcement first thing this morning that all participants in PARCC testing would receive an incentive and also be entered into a drawing on Friday for various prizes such as beat by Dre headphones, $10.00 gift cards and other prizes. The students that opted out were made to sit in the cafeteria and given packets that would be graded. These packets included such things as writing journals describing a cat, describing the color orange for a blind person, describing a favorite movie actor without naming him or her, the most exciting thing that happened to you this month and what did you do since you got to school this morning. How is this going to help further my daughter’s education?? If the students finish their packet they are to be turned in and given another one. After testing was over the kids that participated in PARCC were given courtyard time and some other prize as incentive. I am hearing the prize was ice cream. I feel like my daughter is being discriminated against and bullied for a decision that I made on her behalf and I do not feel that is fair.

My son was the only child in his class not taking the test but still had work to do that was given during this time. When everyone else went to the restroom he was not allowed to go “because he wasn’t even taking the test”. He was still working on a packet they gave him! It was in the morning before they started their testing that she was letting everyone go…even though he would have work to do as well he wasn’t allowed a bathroom privilege???? And was told because he’s not taking the test.

Evangeline Parish
They denied him canteen all week not allowed to go to special canteen didn’t receive ticket because he didn’t take the parcc test.

My 4th and 5th grade children are opted out of the PARCC.Last week the school told them that during the test week it would be anything goes canteen. Well today the first day of testing my children couldn’t go to canteen because they didn’t receive a ticket to canteen. They rewarded the kids that took the test and singled out the ones that didnt. And made me terminate my child’s 504 plan because she couldn’t have accommodations on the PARCC.

Would not give my child a ticket to get canteen because he didn’t take the test. He could not even go to regular canteen and they had him play on odyssey today. No school assignment for the day.

The teacher treated everyone to nachos for taking the test and let the children tease my child because he couldn’t have any because he didn’t take the test this is discrimination

My child was trying to go to canteen when stopped by her teacher and told she didn’t get a “ticket” for participating in taking the PARCC exam on March 16, 2015. She says the ticket was a reward for a free candy where normally they would purchase these items. On any other given day my child brings money for a snack and is allowed to buy her something from canteen. However, this week the one that OPTED PARCC will not be allowed their snack. This is a decision to opt my child out and she isn’t to be punished for action made by her parent. If they shall punish anyone come to me and we will handle this. I will make changes tomorrow morning with the principal and promise you she will have a snack from CANTEEN.

Iberville Parish
My son told the teacher he was opted out of the test. She got the coach, and. he put my child in a room And left about two minutes later he came back And this time he had the principal. They asked my son who else did he tell about opting out . He said no one. They said yes you did. My son said just the teacher. Then told him to not tell anyone else about it because as it is he is going to be held back for not taking the test. They have also been scaring other parents into not opting out.

Jeff Davis Parish
On the day I went to opt out I was informed by the principal that my daughter would not be able to go to honors classes for the 9th grade. On Friday 3-13-15 our children were told that they should all take the test because of the awesome rewards, ie. Jeans every Friday next year, food after testing, and time outside per week I believe. I emailed the principle about it and his response was that they give incentives every year and this was no different. I explained to him just how and why this was in fact very different. I have yet to receive another response and nothing was rectified.

Lafayette Parish
Although the teacher was professional and courteous during our meeting, she did communicate that as a gifted student, my daughter would likely be in the running for valedictorian next school year and if it came down to a tie between my daughter and other students, the fact that my daughter opted out of PARCC would be used against her as a deciding factor.

My husband took our 7th grade son to school and went to the office to find out where our son would be and what he would be doing at school since we had turned in a letter to opt our son out of PARCC. My husband was told by the school principal that our son needed to be taken home until the test was over since there was ‘no place for the non-testing students to be on campus’. He would have to be driven to school after testing each day of PARCC. This is a big inconvenience and burden to parents who work or who don’t have transportation. More than that, this is a violation of compulsory school law. The school is requiring parents to violate law.

Lafourche Parish
After all of the students in my son’s school were finished with testing he wasn’t allowed to play games with the rest of the student. A fellow teacher and para went to the principal to ask if my son could participate in the games with the rest of the class, his principal responded with a simple ” no he can stay right there”

The day before he was left alone while the other students went outside to wait for their parents to pick them up. Luckily my mother is friends with a few of the other parents that the other parents text and call us when the school is finished testing so we can head to the school to pick him up.

Lincoln Parish
my grandchild (which we have custody of) was told that he could not go on a field trip for a reward on taking the test! Yes we opted him out! I’m not really worried about him going on the trip~as we will take him on his on field trip that will be educational for him! It’s just the fact that he and the other children was told this!

Livingston Parish
My son’s first hour teacher told the class that if they did not take the PARCC test that they will not be placed in “good” classes in high school next year. Then she said “I don’t know why y’all just didn’t stay home”. The kids who opted out were made to sit quietly in the cafeteria with no instruction. My son said that some kids slept, others read or played on their phones

I opted my child out of PARCC. Tuesday May 5, 2015 my child came home upset about how the opt out kids were handled. Monday they were told they could read, draw, or whatever they wanted as long as they were quiet. Tuesday they were brought into the gym and told to sit in the bleachers facing backwards, 5 spaces apart. If they talked or moved, would either have to go to office or do 500 squat thrust.Wednesday may 6th, I went to the school to speak with the principal. I spoke first with my child who came out of the cafeteria crying bc of events that took place again that morning. she told me that the teachers who were watching the kids: told them that “if you opt out, you miss out’. Also they weren’t going to spoil them bc they didn’t help contribute to the funding. they were not allowed to go to the restroom. And to top it off, they were TAKING PICTURES of the opt out kids with personal cell phones and appeared to be sending the pic to other people. if they didn’t do something academic, they were yelled at. The vice principal was overheard telling another teacher that she was angry due to parents calling to complain about kids being backwards in gym day before. i was also told one teacher handed out soft drinks to kids that took test. I explained to principal how the kids felt threatened, harassed, discriminated and punished for opting out of the test. He apologized, told me he told to put kids in gym backwards so can use bench behind like a desk. i told him that was a bit much, along with the extreme 500 squat thrust. He agreed to talk with kids this morning to let them know that was not their intentions on making them feel like this, scared and upset, and to also make sure they knew they could come to him or call a parent if they felt like this again. i am really angry at how they have made our kids feel, much less…why are they taking pictures and who now has a copy off that picture with my child in it. i also have COPY OF 2 HANDWRITTEN NOTES W/THE EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE THIS WEEK. one is from my child, another is from another kid that she knew. is this something you can help me with? should i let it go with the principal’s apology or take further action. any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. this is just the majority of what took place in as few words as possible.

Ouachita Parish
the principal was rude when I went in to opt out. He then phoned me 1 1/2 hour later to apologize, then tried to talk us out of opting out.

Two children opted out. They were given 4 pages of math, 4 pages of english, had to read 4 stories and write constructive responses (this was reported by the students). They were kept in a small office of the assistant principal in student desks. My child said she felt like she was being stared at, that the asst principal seemed to chew tobacco, smelled funny and made gross noises. They were sometimes there from 8:30 till 11. Most students finished the PARCC test by 9:30 and watched movies while waiting for the extended time testers to finish. the Opt Outs had to “work”.

Other schools in the parish were not giving punitive work to their students. One school reported that the kids were allowed to read and hang out in the school library. Another school brought in a local youth theater to come and give a presentation to the Opt Out students. The other days, this particular school had other fun things for the children to do.

Rapides Parish
I do not guess this is a threat , but I do not understand why my 4th grader has to sit in a kindergarten class for testing because I chose to opt her out. So my daughter had to read her library book in a room full of kindergarten children! That would be like taking her to chuck E cheese and asking her to study! So it’s a waste of this week for her to be at school and humiliating to sit with kindergarten class for lunch !

My 8th grader has been opted out. He has been given an alternate assignment for a grade this week while the other kids take the PARCC like test here. My issue is our district superintendent issued an email last Friday stating no child will be exempt from any rewards or incentives provided they attend all the days and complete their assigned work without any disciplinary problems. Nothing was said about a grade. If the opt out students must perform for a grade then the opt in students should too.

Our son attends K12 online school, when we chose to opt out of the PARCC testing we were told he would not be allowed to register the next school term. According to their policy they do not have to follow any of the opt out rules etc.
I opted my 3rd grade son out of PARRC. My son was denied treats after the test was done because he did not take it by his homeroom teacher.

I was told since my son is not taking the parcc test then he will not be allowed to enroll in lavca next year. The administrator also said that he couldn’t let the parents opt out because that meant less money for lavca.

Red River Parish
On Friday, March 13, 2015 my son refused to take a practice test for PARCC because I told him he was not to take any tests, practice tests or surveys pertaining to PARCC because I had turned in the proper forms to opt him out. His ELA teacher, asked him why he wasn’t taking the test and he replied that I had told him not to. She then told him he was getting an F for not participating at that he needed to “get a life!” This was not the first instance with this teacher taking out her apparent frustrations out on my child and others for the choice me and other parents have chose to make.

St. Charles Parish
I refused for my 8th grade, 13 year old son to take the PARCC and EXPLORE tests. During the EXPLORE test, which was 4 1/2 hours long, he was forced to sit and stare. 4 1/2 hours out of a 6 hour day, he could not put his head down, he could not read or write. I have emails to confirm that this did occur. He did not apologize.

I refused for my 8th grade son to participate in the PARCC test. The school board and administrators knew my wish. They said they respected my wishes as my son’s parent. They would provide extra accommodations. However, on day one, he was allowed to read. Day two, they were not allowing him to read. The teacher would not accept his test booklet. They forced him to sit and stare for an hour and thirty minutes.

St. Landry Parish
I was advised that if I opt my son out he would have to go in front a retention board committee.? To determine pass or fail…by his principal. He now is being teased by other students that he will be in same desk next year..from failing due to not taking PARCC TEST..

St. Mary Parish
I signed my Daughter up for Ileap tutoring at beginning of school year. Mondays. 3-4 after school. Just received a call from principal telling me I need to find a ride for my child at 3 she will not be allowed to continue tutoring the rest of the year because I opted her out of testing

When I opted my son out for this weeks testing I was told that he needed to be brought to school by 1015, after testing is complete.

Terrebonne Parish
I opted out my 3 children from Parcc and was told if my 8th grader doesn’t take this e.o.y test she will fail or have to go to summer school by the school principal, but when I spoke to him in a previous conversation he stated more than once it would not affect my children now he is calling me begging for me to let my 8th grader take this test ..

Vermilion Parish
no my child has not been threaten but BULLYING yes. As a parent it was my choice to opt out now she will reward all kids that take the test. That is bullying. They are picking on the ones that had no choice than to do what parents said. We have a number of kids that this is happening to but parents are too scared to say cause she will target these kids even more! I do have a picture of a teacher’s writing saying it is the administration that is doing this!

Vernon Parish
This is the 4th incident that is being dealt with against the same teacher.. Our children being opted out of parcc testing were suppose to be given alternative work assignments to occupy their time while testing was ongoing. The “alternative work” is parcc practice sheets. The practice sheets were not completed during the testing time. During last period of the day, the teacher sent the students that had not completed the practice sheets out to the hallway to work on them while students who took the parcc test were allowed to watch a movie. This work was suppose to be during testing times ONLY. This is obviously a retaliation to students whose parents opted them out of testing and worse yet, they were given parcc practice sheets!

West Baton Rouge Parish
My 5th grader came on In tears saying she felt like was in clinic with about 30 other kids in the lunchroom till 11 o’clock! I ask what she meant and was told that they had to read countless passages and answer Questions out the wazoo, the they was givin five sheet r more with over 100 word to define, was told if the word wasn’t in there to write what they knew! Our kids being punished for opting out and it’s Ridiculous!

The children who opted out were given “work” packets that a lot of the parents feel was equivalent to punish work. They were given 25 units of 10 words they had to write all the definition. Basically what a child would do if they were sent to “clinic” for misbehaving. I sent my child to school with a spy type digital recorder. There was no instruction. The children were handed papers and told to do the work. They could not read and they could not ask questions. The teacher told them she was there to walk around and make sure they were doing what they were supposed to be doing.

My son was put in the clinic room to do work and had no help doing any of it and was told to just sit there when he was done . When he get home he gave me this paper saying about tickets and rewards if you are taking the test out of all the year of school I have never heard of any kind of rewards till this year and I don’t think it’s right just cause my child isn’t taking it he can’t participate in the rewards

My child was stuck in a cafeteria, where she was given a five page list of words to define from a dictionary. The principal has stated that this is normal work students do this time of year. My child is in the third grade and was given the same work as students in the fifth grade. So, I am to believe that third grade students do the exact same class work as fourth and fifth graders at this time of the year? Where is the progression if that is the case? There were over 60 students, of different ages, in a room with two part time teachers. These “teachers” were yelling and disrespectful to all of the students including my child, but the thing that upsets me more is that they were given “clinic” work. I thought that there would be NO disciplinary action taken for opting out, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I have other parents posting emails from the principal proving these statements, as well as another parent that has a four hour recording of today’s ongoings.

The school offered rewards for children who participated in the Parc test. The rewards were expensive gift cards, blue bayou tickets, admit to a glow in the dark dance etc when the time came for the dance to happen the principal still denied the children who didn’t take the test admit to the party. While the whole testing is going on the kids that opted out are continuously getting bullied and the rewards rubbed in their face by other children as well as the school! This is not the school I want my children going too.

The school is giving incentives to the children who take the test such as gift cards daily prizes, a dance snowball party and if you don’t take the parcc test you can not get any of those rewards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *