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Readers: How our students spent their opt-out time

This week marks the end of the state’s first wave of standardized testing. So, on Monday we asked our readers: What did your students do while they weren’t taking the PARCC English and math exams?

We heard from people all over the state and the responses were varied. Some parents kept their students at home for the few hours student took the exams while others spent that time in the library working on homework.

Bruce Hankins, superintendent Dolores County Schools and principal Seventh Street Elementary School, said more than 90 percent of his students opted out of the test. Here’s how his district handled those larger numbers:

We look at our schools as a customer service organization, not a governmental organization. Which means our students and parents are our customers. Happy customers mean they keep coming back and trust you to do what is best for the them. Would you go back to a store if they told you you had to buy a certain color of shirt and you could not leave until you did? We decided to not disrupt our schedule, we feel students learning and teachers teaching is the most important job we have. So, our teachers stayed in the classroom teaching kids, and we had proctors administer the test.

On the hand, Chalkbeat reader Heather Phipps emailed:

My third and fifth grader went to the library with a few other kids, where they had supervision from a staff member. They brought homework and books to read. They helped reshelve books. They had five days of testing so far and they were in the library for at least 1.5 hours each testing day. I went in 2 of the days and worked on math and reading with my children.

Karen King said on our Facebook page she kept her son home:

[T]he school respected our decision and our rights, they did not try to encourage us to take the tests.

And Lisa C replied to our tweet this way:

As always, we invite you to join the conversation on our website, Facebook page, or on Twitter.

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