Two Principals of Chicago Public Schools Support Opting Out of PARCC

A report in Chicago Sun Times on March 4, 2015 by Lauren Fitzpatrick discusses that the principals of two highly rated elementary schools, in the Chicago Public Schools are supporting the parents of their students’ decision to opt-out of the state’s upcoming standardized test based on Common Core Standards. The test which is called Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, PARCC for short, will not be used to evaluate teachers, rate schools or decide whether students are promoted or graduate.

The principal of Nettelhorst Elementary School, Cindy Wulbert told the parents who wish to opt their children out of the test write a letter to the School’s administration requesting to opt-out.

Troy LaRaviere , the out-spoken principal of Blaine Elementary School e-mailed  his students’ parents as follows:

“I am writing to make it clear that the Blaine administration fully supports the PTA’s effort to maximize Blaine students’ instructional time. “Students whose parents opt them out will receive a full day of instruction. Teachers are developing plans that will provide enriched learning experiences for non-testing students during the testing window. I want to clearly state that whether you opt-out or not, Blaine’s administration and teachers will respect and support your wishes for your child.”

Two Principals Share Opposing Views on Common Core Standards

Common Core Standards have generated intense debates and controversies among politicians, educators, parents of current students, and community members. It is important, therefore, that the voices of those responsible for implementing the Common Core Standards are heard. The Hechinger Report, invited two principals, Carol Burris and Jayne Ellspermann, with differing views on Common Core Standards to converse through letters their opinions and experiences with the implementation of the Common Core Standards.

Carol Burris, New York’s principal of South Side High School in the Rockville Centre School District and the 2013 New York State High School Principal of the Year used to be in support of Common Core Standards but is now an opponent of the Standards. Jayne Ellspermann, principal of West Port High School in Ocala, Florida and the 2015 Principal of the Year for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, is an advocate for the Standards.

Valerie Strauss who covers education and the Answer Sheet Blog for the Washington Post reported on March 4th, 2015 the second letter in the series written by Jayne Ellspermann in response to Carol Burris who wrote the first letter.