September 7, 2017
Adelina Silva: New Mexico 8th-Grader Suspended For Distributing Standardized Test Opt-Out Forms To Her Classmates

New Mexico 8th-grader Adelina Silva, like many other parents, teachers, and students in New Mexico, wasn't at all pleased at having to take a standardized test. But when she distributed opt-out forms to her fellow students - forms that are available on the district's website - she wound up being suspended, Fox News is reporting.

The incident that got Adelina Silva suspended happened late last month, but is only now gaining attention in the national media.

Adelina attends Capshaw Middle School in Santa Fé, New Mexico. Like her fellow students, Ms. Silva was concerned about having to take a standardized test known as PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers). Seeing that the Santa Fé School District has a form available on its own website allowing parents to opt their kids out of the test, Adelina printed off a bunch of the forms and began handing them out to her classmates.

Teachers were not amused, according to KRQE (Albuquerque).

"They started pulling the fliers out from the kids' hands."
She was then sent to the principal's office, where she sat for an hour and a half, missing class time, until ultimately the principal made the decision to suspend her.

The PARCC test is extremely unpopular in Santa Fé, among students, parents, even teachers. After Adelina's suspension, students at Capshaw organized a sit-in to protest the tests, walking out of class and going into the hallways. The teachers' union doesn't like it either, but according to KQRE they were told by the state's Department of Education not to criticize the test (leading the union's president to complain that their First Amendment rights were being violated). And Adelina's mother, Jacqueline Ellvinger, explains why parents hate the test.

"It's ridiculous. Our children's education is being based off a test."
Adelina's suspension for distributing out-out forms to her classmates is indicative of the sometimes absurd lengths schools have been known to go through to perform well on standardized testing. Scores on standardized tests, as well as participation rates, can make or break a school's state or federal funding. For example: in Alabama, according to this Inquisitr report, 8th-grader Alyssa McKinney was suspended for refusing to take a Common Core-based standardized test. And in Colorado, truant officers have been sent to children's homes to round up kids whose parents opted them out of standardized testing.

As for Adelina, the Santa Fé school district issued a statement, insisting that no students have been disciplined for promoting the district's opt-out policy; a statement which seems to contradict Adelina's account of what happened.

"Santa Fé Public Schools supports a parent's right to opt his or her child out of state-mandated standardized testing... no students in the district have been disciplined for supporting or promoting this district policy of a parent's right to opt their child out of testing."
Do you believe that Adelina deserved to be suspended for distributing standardized test opt-out forms to her classmates? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.

[Image courtesy of: The Blaze]