CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The Caddo Parish school board held a meeting Tuesday afternoon regarding a resolution asking the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) for a special session to deal with PARCC test concerns. The resolution passed with a 12-0 vote. The school board is hoping BESE holds off on making districts participate in the PARCC exams this year, or at least not penalize districts if parents decide to opt their children out of taking the test.
Tuesday, frustrated parents and board members gathered for the meeting to voice their concerns about the PARCC test.
Last week, Governor Bobby Jindal issued an Executive Order, encouraging parents to opt out 3rd through 8th grade students from the PARCC test.
BESE says students should take the PARCC exam, and the Governor's order violates state and federal laws.
Jackie Lansdale, president of the Red River Federation of Teachers says, "Opt out is neither legal, nor in policy, it's almost a civil disobedience. What a shame that we put our parents in a position that they are having to act out, but shouldn't we listen."
Parents and educators alike worry about the impact of the PARCC results. If a student opts out, the school gets a score of zero, which negatively impacts the school's overall score when compared to other states.
For concerned parent Angela Tappe, the test affects more than the schools.
"It's for our children and we want Louisiana to thrive, and we want to bring businesses to Louisiana. It's an economic development issue in the future it really is," says Tappe. When asked if she is planning to opt her child out, she says, "I'm supporting my teachers. I do not want this to adversely affect them. I would hope that BESE would listen, and not even put us in that position."
Shortly after, the Louisiana Department of Education sent an email to the Bossier Parish School Board stating: State laws require that children attend school, and federal regulations require that all students count in the state's accountability system. However, school systems can determine how a student's absence during testing will affect the student's ability to move on to the next grade level. Tests are meant to provide parents, educators, and taxpayers a check up on student learning and on how well our schools are serving families. Schools should inform all parents about the details of tests and should respond to any concerns proactively.