A New Jersey public high school principal has a blog called "The Sup's Scoop" (hat tip: Erika Sanzi) and recently reflected on reasons for and consequences of the opt-out-of-PARCC movement here. He/she spoke to spoke to some of his/her high schoolers and their parents and asked them why they were opting-out of PARCC. Answers ranged from the mundane -- “I don’t feel like taking it” -- to, well, the mundane: ‘’I heard at the basketball game that we don’t have to take it, so we’re not going to.”Here’s this anonymous principal’s forecast of possible outcomes:
Potential employee: I’d love to work here!
Employer: Great! Just complete this application and take this test. Potential employee: test? No thanks, I’ll just opt-out.
Senior applying to college: Hey Mom! Did you see I have to do this essay?
Mom: Yes, it’s apart of the application process
Senior: I don’t feel like writing it; can you just write me a note opting out?
Counselor: This is a test to get into that trade school you’ve been talking about.
Student: Eh, who cares about the test. It’s not like it’s going to count towards anything!
Parents opting their kids out with no logic or reasoning behind it sets a nasty precedent. Opting out because you don’t understand how students are being taught today (i.e. common core methodology) is doing a disservice to your child and is setting up your child to trying to catch up to the wave of current society.
I understand the test anxiety piece; but to opt-out just because your kid asked? What’s next… opting out of paying bills because you don’t want to? Or opting out of something because it’s too hard? Let your kids struggle; it’s how they learn; it’s how YOU and I learn.
I know this post isn’t as tight or aligned as I like them to be; I have a meeting in a few minutes. And no, I can’t opt-out of that.
[Update: he's Jay Eitner from Lower Alloways Creek School District in Salem County.]
[Correction: Jay (Jason E.) Eitner is Superintendent of the Lower Alloways Creek School District, not a principal. I apologize for the error.]
Also worth reading: this principal's take on Bob Braun's doxxing of Assistant Commissioner Bari Erlichson (see my coverage here and here):
I’m a Jersey boy. Remember the end of the opening scene of The Sopranno’s? That was me; walking down the driveway, getting the newspaper. That newspaper was The Star Ledger.
There are legends that write at the Ledger. Reporters that you look forward to reading. One of them was Bob Braun. Bob covered everything and anything. A staple of New Jersey culture, politics, and championing the little guy.
Maybe I liked Bob more because his wife taught my younger brother and I at Connecticut Farms in Union. Maybe I liked Bob more because he always took the time to dig deep and be thorough. Maybe I liked Bob more because he was no-thrills.
Bob, I have to take it back now.
I’m so disgusted with the story you published on your blog earlier this week talking about how one of the Assistant Commissioners of Education, Bari Erlichson, is the reason why NJDOE & Pearson (the cultivators of the PARCC test) are so tight. Bob, through shoddy reporting and attempted parlor tricks, tries to correlate Assistant Commissioner Erlichson’s husband (a software developer) to why / how the PARCC test is here today.
While the story is simply ridiculous, Bob thought it was necessary to place her address, taxes, and a plethora of other personal, irrelevant information in the story. The attempt to make the Erlichson’s look like the 1% failed; the whole article failed. Well, to be fair, it succeeded in solidifying that Bob needs to retire… for real this time. Such a callous article really makes me want to reach out to Mrs. Braun and ask her to remove Bob’s keyboard and enjoy the sunset that you both worked so hard to do.