Up to 70% of students are protesting Common Core by refusing to take the New York Common Core exams.
New York began testing last week for the controversial Common Core education standards dividing the nation. Common Core was originally adopted by 45 states, but after thorough criticism, Common Core has already been dropped by Indiana. Parents in Colorado have gone so far as to converge on Colorado’s Capital Hill.
Now NY parents are protesting Common Core. Fox News reported on protester Heidi Indelicato’s decision to remove her son Benjamin from Common Core testing. Instead of sitting down for hours with other students, filling in test answers with a #2 pencil, Benjamin and Heidi spent the time studying in the library.
“I feel like I’m teaching him leadership and strong self-confidence, qualities that I feel are good for the development of a young child,” she told Fox News. “I’m trying to instill in him that sometimes it’s important to be polite but disobedient. Sometimes it’s needed because the leaders are not always going to be right.”
As parents “opt out” of Common Core testing in NY, some school districts have implemented a shocking “sit and stare” policy. Students who attend school but refuse to take the test will sit in class at their empty desk with nothing to do in these sit-and-stare districts.
Kathryn Wegman, superintendent of the Marion Central School District, defended the policy in an email to ABC 13, saying that “The District does not have the right, nor the staff and space to provide an alternative setting.” She also said that the law does not provide an “opt out” option for Common Core testing. Parents can theoretically remove their children from school on the day of testing, as Indelicato has, yet some parents have to work during school hours.
Students who refuse to take the Common Core exams in other districts are being allowed to go to the school library where they will not distract the children taking the Common Core test. “We can have kids sit and do nothing, or we can have them be productive by doing something in a separate area,” said William Cala, interim superintendent at the Fairport Central School District. “(Sit-and-stare) doesn’t seem to make any sense to us.”
Sit-and-stare appears to be a battle of the wills over Common Core, with children caught in the middle.
“We respectfully refuse to participate in the test,” said Indelicato, standing her ground against Common Core.
Westchester County executive and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is also having his kids refuse the Common Core exams, calling Common Core “a disaster in the making.”
“What we are seeing now is an expensive, experimental federal curriculum being forced down our throats by Washington and Albany,” he said. “[My wife] Sheila and I don’t accept that as parents. And as governor, I’ll stop it.”