Letter warns students about walkout protests of testing

-A A +A
By The Staff

Around the state, there have been reports of walkouts at several public schools in protest of the state’s evaluation testing.
As of Wednesday morning, there hadn’t been any at Los Alamos Public Schools. And Superintendent Gene Schmidt wants to keep it that way.
LAPS released a letter to the press Tuesday afternoon warning students about the possible consequences of walking out on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing, which many teachers, students and parents have complained about on social media.
Schmidt said in his letter LAPS was “aware of campaigns on social media” encouraging local students to walk out on testing. While his letter stated that the rights of students are respected, that anyone refusing to participate might “jeopardize their ability to obtain a high school diploma.”
According to LAPS, the PARCC serves the purpose of a high school competency exam, which all students are required by law to pass in order to receive a diploma.
Further, LAPS stated anyone taking part in a walkout protest would be considered unexcused and may be subjected to the district’s discipline system.
“As we move into testing we ask you to remember our core values of safety and respect as you make your choices regarding this issue,” Schmidt said.
The protest comes at a time when the school system is evaluating its final two candidates as possible replacements for Schmidt, who will step down following this academic year.
One of the candidates, Kurt Steinhaus, is scheduled to hold a public forum this evening at the high school’s speech theater. The other candidate, Chris Marczak, had a public forum Monday.
PARCC testing has been a topic of controversy around the state for the past several weeks. PARCC testing around the state began Monday.
Among schools in the state that saw protests were Albuquerque High School and schools in Las Cruces.
Read the full text of the letter below.

parcc_letter_3-3-15.pdf146.61 KB