School offers ‘incentives’ to get kids to take Common Core standardized test
We’ve seen in years past pep rallies, parties, raffles and other sorts of enticements — which some might call bribes — for students before they take high-stakes standardized tests. In spring 2016, for example, Washington Redskins cheerleaders surprised students at an assembly for students at a Washington elementary school to cheer them on for their Common Core tests.
Now, as school districts around the country get ready to launch into their annual spring testing season, it’s starting to happen again.
A notice was just sent to families with children attending Jewell Elementary School in Aurora Public Schools, a school with some 530 students in pre-K through fifth grades, most of them minority. The memo actually includes the phrase “PARCC incentives,” with PARCC referring to the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career, a Common Core test created by a multistate consortium funded by the former Obama administration.
Other schools are also offering incentives in Colorado, one of the states with the largest opt-out movements. New York has had the most opt-outs, with at least 20 percent of students statewide refusing to take accountability tests for the past few years, and officials expecting big numbers again this year.
Jewell’s particular incentives: a raffle and a party in which kids can participate only if they have shown up to school on all PARCC testing days and “who have tried their hardest. (See the full memo below.) Asked about the memo, Nadine Ritchotte, Jewell Elementary’s principal, provided this statement:
“It is important to recognize and celebrate students for their hard work and learning throughout the school year. This is simply another opportunity for Jewell Elementary staff to recognize our students and thank them for their efforts.”