OPT OUT Chicago: Leafletting continues about PARCC Opt Out at North River Elementary... 'many stopped to share their view that the tests they did take in March were unfair and too hard, and that they didn't see any point in taking them and didn't like it...'

A four-person team from Albany Park, North Park, and Mayfair Neighbors for Peace and Justice had a good time distributing leaflets in English and Spanish against the Common Core PARCC tests on April 23, 2015 at the small North River Elementary school. The school, which has mostly low income Latino students, is located at 4416 N. Troy in Chicago. The "end of year assessments" begin next week.

Students were exceptionally receptive to hearing about how they can opt of the new upcoming round of the PARCC tests. Some did not know that more PARCC tests are coming. But many stopped to share their view that the tests they did take in March were unfair and too hard, and that they didn't see any point in taking them and didn't like it. And many came over to get copies of our leaflets and to discuss opting out with us and groups of classmates. Some who had already passed by without getting our flyer came back to ask for one when they heard about it from their friends.

Parents were also interested in getting the leaflets, and one said she opted her special needs child out of the testing.

One teacher said that about half of the students in grades 6,7,8 had opted out, about 30 in this small school.

Administrators were very upset with what we were doing. An assistant principal and another administrator and a security guard sent by the principal separately told us that we could distribute to parents, but that we could not ”solicit to minors” (their words). They said that "soliciting to minors" was against "Board policy." They were a little late in threatening that if we continued to do this they would call the police — because almost all the parents and students were gone by then.

We pointed out that the school administrators solicit children every day, such as by telling them to take the PARCC tests, and we have every right, including the legal right, to urge the students not to take the tests.


April 27, 2015 at 12:13 PM

By: Roberta Salas

Comments regarding soliciting to minors

I think you are off base regarding your comments on the administration's concern about soliciting to minors at an elementary school. As a parent, I give permission for my minor children to receive information from school administration. That is not the same as having strangers approach and engage them outside of the school. I will make the appropriate decisions for my children and would hope that my school will protect my children from engaging with people they do not know outside of school no matter whether I agree or disagree with the message. If this organization wants to hand out information, they should do it to the parents and not direct it to children. You are assuming that the administration was upset about the message when perhaps they were upset about the method. Thank you.

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