The Finneys of Marietta, Georgia, have been fighting their local school district over the state's standardized exam battery, the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, taken in third, fifth, and eighth grades and used to determine promotion to the next grade. Two of their three children were required to take tests this month, a third grader and a fifth grader, but the parents refused. At one point they said they thought they had a meeting scheduled with the principal to talk about their concerns. Instead, they were met by a cop. Via the Marietta Daily Journal:
The Finneys worked out a meeting with school administrators early Wednesday morning to talk things over. But when they arrived, they were confronted by a police officer instead of the principal.
According to Tracey Finney, the officer was extremely nice and professional, but told them being on school property while actively opposed to the test was "kind of a trespassing thing" and that their kids weren't allowed on the property either if they weren't going to take the test. The officer's report confirms the parents were told they and their students would be trespassing if they stayed on the property.
The principal says the meeting was cancelled a couple of hours after it was confirmed via email that morning. The Finneys say they were told they could send their children to school after the tests were administered in the morning, but the school then told them make-up testing would take place in the afternoons. The Finneys say they like the public school system but that they will send their children to private school or homeschool them if their children will be compelled to take the tests.
While the tests have been mandatory in Georgia since 2000, in a statement picked up by The Daily Caller the family linked their concern over the data-collection aspect of standardized testing to Common Core. "People don't realize it," the statement read in part. "We don't want to sound like we're wearing tin-foil hats, but they want to track our kids from kindergarten through college."
Earlier this year, Colorado parent Sean Black reportedly got a visit from a cop after he told a state bureaucrat that he wanted opt his disabled child out of a test. In Colorado, teachers with children in public schools are among the loudest opponents of standardized testing, and Black, also a teacher, was eventually allowed to opt his child out.
The Finneys, meanwhile, deny that they're trying to opt out of the test. Rather, they insist what they're doing—refusing to have their children take it—is different. State officials say there's nothing in the law to allow for opting out.
This is, of course, the kind of thing that could be curbed by replacing state and federal standardization and centralization with a system in which funding follows the students to the schools of their choice.