New Jersey parent Michele Thornton’s 9-year old daughter, Cassidy, was recently banned from attending an end of the year party for students at her elementary school because Michele had previously opted her daughter out of New Jersey’s version of Common Core testing, known as the Partnership for Assessment and Readiness for College and Careers exam (PARCC).
PARCC has been criticized by experts as being part of a wider plan to nationalize school curricula, the primary reason Michele had instructed her daughter not to participate in the test. According to Thornton during her Fox News interview, “They pressured me to make her take it,” she said. “I told them that it was against the law to force my daughter to participate."
Thornton was shocked last week when she discovered the repercussions of her choice to opt her daughter out of PARCC, a decision that would result in her daughter getting excluded from social activities for the other students, and in the form of consistent harassment from school counselors and other administrators. According to a weekly newsletter Cassidy brought home from school:
“Untest afternoon will take place Monday, June 15 beginning at 12:30 pm for children in grades 3-8 who participated in both PARCC assessment…"
Since Cassidy was the only child in her third grade class not to take the exam, school officials were going to place her alone in the school library for the rest of the day, a move which caused quite a stir with Michele, causing her to instead go and pick up Cassidy from school early while the other children went on to enjoy "…gaming trucks, an outdoor play area (soccer and volleyball), cupcakes, juice boxes, and buckets full of prizes for the kids."
The "Untest afternoon" was not the only attempt to guilt Michele and Cassidy over their refusal to take part in PARCC; Cassidy was pulled out of class and drilled with a series of questions as to why she refused to take the PARCC exam. Michele, increasingly frustrated with the administration’s treatment of her daughter, launched a formal complaint, which resulted in an investigation showing that "findings indicate that harassment, intimidation and bullying did not occur."
Michele’s story of school intimidation to implement Common Core testing is far from uncommon in America today. An Ohio family was at odds with their daughter’s local school district when they asked for their daughter to opt out of Common Core testing, which resulted in the Superintendent "refusing to excuse her children from anything at school, then visited her kids’ school, demanding to have the children weighed and measured because their principal had allowed them to opt out from an earlier body-mass index screening."
More disturbing Common Core standards were detected and brought to attention by Wetumpka TEA Party President, Becky Gerritson, in a 2014 Alabama Senate Education Committee hearing. One portion of her testimony highlighted historical revisionism on the part of one Common Core history textbook’s writer:
"Dr. Terrance Moore, professor of History from Hillsdale College, dedicated an entire chapter in his book called Story Killers to this very textbook. He does a superb job detailing the misrepresentation of America’s founding, its anti-American themes, and its obvious political bias, as well its mediocre methods of teaching literature."
Common Core is threatening not only parents’ rights over their children’s education, but is also undermining individual states who have to choose between opting out of Common Core and losing federal grants, or allowing the Department of Education to come in and take control over entire curricula.