Two New Mexico high school students who organized what became thousands of kids to walk out of class this week appeared on national TV Thursday to explain why they did it — and describe the ugly reality that is Common Core.
Students across the country are required to take an annual Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC test, which is aligned with Common Core standards. For students in New Mexico, scoring on PARCC exams determine 50 percent of their grade.
Connor Guiney and Anna Bentham-Grey appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” and admitted they were surprised by the size of the walkout at Highland High School in Albuquerque.
“I don’t think we knew quite the capacity to which there would be that many people,” Guiney told co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
“We thought maybe 100, or 150 would come out. But by the end of the day we had over 300 people and that was really good to have all that support out there. It was nice to not be alone in that.”
And that was just at their own school.
“We weren’t the only ones,” Bentham-Grey said. “Almost every other school in our district also had walkouts that day.”
Guiney admitted that although some students who participated in the walkout merely wanted to get out of taking the test, that wasn’t the purpose in organizing the event.
“We feel like the tests are unnecessary and they use an excess amount of time among other things,” he said. “But ultimately they’re unfair to students at schools and to the teachers as well.”
The tests “don’t encompass the learning styles of many different other students and that kind of leaves people out,” Guiney added.
He predicted that if all schools switch to the Common Core teaching style the PARCC tests are geared to, “some students are going to stop going to school.”
Bentham-Grey noted that the tests don’t cover everything they learn in school.
“There’s only a language arts and a math section,” she said. “And even within the language arts section they leave out creative writing and literature altogether.”
Guiney also feared that teachers will begin teaching to the tests, rather than retaining “that interesting dynamic between teachers and students.”