The Decision to Opt Out of Common Core
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Interestingly, in elementary school, such tests were a non-issue for Amanda. They were annoying, sure, but in the same way that having to play kickball in the gym on a rainy day was. She was able to deal with it and quickly forget it. But now, she looked at them as a form of torture that all the good parents were swooping in and saving their kids from. My husband, meanwhile, had seen that opting her out hadn’t improved her grades, inspire her to learn for learning’s sake, or make her more relaxed throughout the school year. What it had done, he only just realized the night the door was slammed, was make her feel entitled to avoid what she didn’t want to do.
But, oh, she fought. She fought with the skill of a lawyer and the fervor of, well, a 13-year-old.
She first tried logic:
“A person, even a young person like me, should always stand up for what she believes in!”
She used her dad’s own words against him:
“You told everybody the tests were a waste of time!”
She invoked practicality:
“I could do all my homework in the auditorium, all my projects, everything, for the next two weeks. Think how easy school nights would be!”
And, in a last-ditch attempt, Amanda appealed to her Daddy:
“You know how you said you feel bad for me that I have to wait until seventh period for lunch every day? The kids who take the test have to wait even longer. I’ll be soooooo hungry. I’ll be fainting!”
In the end, it failed, all of it.
We passed two miserable nights of bitter complaining. ”See this bruise on my leg? It’s from being in that chair all those hours. I hope you’re happy!”
Will putting her back into the state-test stream be to her advantage? To ours? To anyone’s? We’re holding our breath.
The math tests are coming in May.