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OPT OUT NEWS: Parents and teachers join at Curie High School to protest against Curie administration's bullying -- and police lies -- about the rights of citizens to protest peacefully on the city sidewalk outside the school....

Although the majority of Chicago public schools where the Opt Out movement has taken place this year continue to treat children and families choosing to opt out in a professional way, a small handful of school administrators, aided by "Network" chiefs, have gone out of their way to undermine the rights of the people and to push the controversial PARCC testing program in the face of the greatest opposition ever.

A group of parents, teachers, and others joined in front of Chicago's Curie High School in the city's Southwest Side on the morning of March 24, 2015, to protest what some have called the "Police State Tactics" utilized by the Curie High School administration against students who want to Opt Out of the PARCC testing program, which is taking place today. Additionally some Chicago police officers, in the face of a growing demand for the right of the students of Cure to Opt Out, tried to push the protesters off the sidewalk in front of the school, claiming, illegally, that citizens do not have the right to do what the protesters were doing.

The protesters worked on the sidewalk outside the school to provide people with information about the rights of Opt Out. These rights have been exercised across Chicago since the PARCC testing program began, and more than 100 of the city's 600 public schools currently have children exercising their right to Opt Out of the PARCC.

Unlike nearby schools -- including Lindblom High School and Kelly High School -- Curie High School stood unique in its part of town in the fact that its administration tried to force students, using bully tactics and in a number of cases lies, to give up their rights to opt out.

Additionally, at least one Chicago police officer came out of the building and tried to tell the protesters on March 24 that they did not have the right, under the First Amendment to the U.S.Constitution, to stand on a public sidewalk in front of a public building and distribute information to people, who could choose to accept that information or not.

According to the group More Than A Score, More Than A Score and others had people flyering at Curie High School on March 24 to get the facts out about PARCC refusal.

"Curie has been telling students they could be fined, suspended or even expelled for refusing and telling parents that they would be responsible if the school lost funds and teachers and staff were laid off," MTAS stated. "Curie security called the police. The police threatened to arrest the people flyering and said they couldnt flyer within 1000 feet of the school. The security threatened to kick a Curie LSC parent member off the LSC."

Members of CORE who participated in the action provided the security staff with information about the legal rights of the people on the sidewalk. Since Chicago's Opt Out movement began last year (against the now defunct ISAT tests), various school officials, abetted by a handful of police officers and school security officials, a minority of school officials have tried intimidation against the growing movement.

"The principal has since apologized to the parent," an MTAS statement continued. "He said he will 'address misinformation provided by his office staff. He has agreed to a townhall about PARCC to be held after spring break and has said that people flyering in the future about PARCC will not be threatened... Unfortunately, the aggressive treatment by security and police prevented sufficient information from being distributed and probably intimidated students and parents who witnessed these events even more..."

"We will continue to share info at Curie," MTAS said. "Please DM or email us if you can help out with this effort! info@morethanascorechicago.org."

CORE also has a great deal of information about Opt Out on the CORE website: http://www.coreteachers.org/

Despite the statement that Curie will change, on March 25 the Curie High School website still contained not only the materials promoting the PARCC tests. In addition, for parents, students and others who wish to, the Curie Website provided a link to the PARCC "practice tests," which have outraged hundreds of people who have taken them since they became available:

PARCC ASSESSMENT

Parents: Help get your child ready for the new PARCC Assessment

The PARCC Assessment window is March 16-April 2.

The National PTA has developed a Parents Guide to New assessment in Illinois. The guide includes background on the standards, the testing timeline, sample test questions and ways for parents to get involved and support their childs learning at home.

PARCC resources:

tutorials sample item

practice test (not a full length practice test)

Click for here to access the Common core video series.

Curie Metropolitan High School, 4959 SOUTH ARCHER AVE , CHICAGO, IL 60632



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