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8th grader suspended for refusing to take Common Core test

By Scott Tuttle     May 6, 2014 in Lifestyle
Huntsville - In a bold act of civil disobedience, 14-year-old Alyssa McKinney was suspended from Whitesburg Middle School in Huntsville, Alabama after refusing three times to participate in standardized Common Core testing.
In an interview with WAAY-TV, McKinney claimed she didn't believe in the idea of setting a national standard for math and English, as is the aim of the controversial test which is now used in 48 states and the District of Columbia.
On the first two occasions, the teen was given in-school suspension for refusing to take the test, but ultimately given out-of-school suspension the third time.
According to the Alabama Department of Education's Facebook page, students can opt out of the tests if their parents give consent. As representatives from Whitesburg Middle School have so far declined to make any public statements to the press, it is unknown whether or not Alyssa's parents did so.
The Common Core, which was first introduced by the National Governor's Association in 2009, was initially designed to create unity among all the nation's schools in manners of preparing children for college. Likewise, results from the tests determine where federal education funds should be distributed, thus making the program a central part of nearly all school curricula and often encouraging teachers to craft their teaching to the test.
The test, which has come to be known by many of its opponents as "Obamacore" has proponents from both sides of the aisle including President Barack Obama, ex-Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, who has contributed millions of dollars to writing and evaluating it.
Opponents of the test, on the other hand, have included parents and teachers who not only tend to object to its top-down approach (i.e., the idea that the federal government knows what's best for everyone), but also to the quality of the tests themselves, which they claim are confusing, have multiple correct answers, and don't allow teachers to discuss wrong answers with the students after they take the tests.
The Common Core particularly faced national scrutiny when comedian Louis C.K. blamed Common Core for making his daughters hate math, which drew millions of his fans' attention to the issue.
"My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry. Thanks standardized testing and common core!" tweeted Louis C.K.
Alyssa is not the first youngster to rebel against Common Core testing. Last month, it was reported that another eighth grader, Seirra Olivero from New York, encouraged all her classmates not to take the test. Like Alyssa, Sierra was suspended from school for insubordination.
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