Parents can now opt their children out of common core testing

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The controversy around common core continues as parents across the state are choosing to opt their children out of taking the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC test. Many parents who are against common core see this opt out option as a good thing for their children.

Right now, schools would be required to take zeros for any students not taking the PARCC test. In the Ouachita Parish school district alone, several parents have already called principals saying their kids won't take the exam.

"That just simply means they wouldn't take the test this year," said Bob Webber, superintendent.

Under current policy of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, or BESE, the opt out option would hurt the student, the school, and even teacher evaluations.

"It will affect in a negative way, the school, the would get a zero for every child that opts out," said Webber.

We asked parents on Facebook if they would opt their children out of the common core testing, and the overwhelming majority said yes. According to BESE, schools can use testing to determine if a student moves up a grade level, or not. But this isn't a high stakes year, so that won't happen, and students won't be affected if they don't take the PARCC test.

Schools are still urging parents to have their kids take the exam, even if it's just practice for the future.

"We hope something happens there where schools themselves won't get hurt in the deal," said Webber.

That happened Friday, when Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order saying BESE must now allow schools to offer alternative forms of testing to the PARCC exam, calling it a "viable and necessary action."

BESE has released a statement in response to the governor's executive order, saying Jindal is trying to disrupt a process that has been in the works for 5 years now. The statement also says BESE has accounted for a transitional period where schools, teachers, and students would not suffer any negative consequences.