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Last night, the news covered Chicago Public Schools’ students opting out of the PARCC test. Parents were complaining because students who opted out were not going to be receiving instruction. I want to clarify why that is the case, and it’s not because the schools are punishing those children.

When we give this test today, there won’t BE any teachers left to teach. I will be fully occupied. So will all my colleagues in my grade.

If someone opted out, we could possibly send them to another grade, but that would disrupt a class that is giving instruction. The sixth grade curriculum is not the eighth grade curriculum. That teacher in the other grade will not be teaching what my students are supposed to be learning. In the meantime, my opted-out students could prevent students in other grades from learning. A few specials teachers might conceivably be free but they are probably proctoring around the school. For that matter, the band teachers are not allowing students to use any instruments because that might make noise and disrupt testing. We are a poor district. We certainly don’t have soundproof rooms.

Eduhonesty: During a testing period, we don’t have teachers sitting around free. We never have teachers sitting around free. So those CPS students who opt out will have to spend the day reading or keeping quiet. No good alternative exists, especially in these heavily legislated times. If paraprofessionals could be in a classroom alone, we might be able to continue instruction, but the law says a fully certified teacher must be in a classroom at all times. All those teachers are busy freaking out about the test at the moment.