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Assessment

Chicago Elementary School Students Questioned About Opting Out of Tests

By Karla Scoon Reid — March 21, 2014 1 min read

Chicago Public School officials are under fire for allowing investigators to interview elementary school students without parent permission about this month’s state test boycott.

Parents and teachers at Drummond Elementary School—a Chicago school where some teachers refused to administer the Illinois Standards Achievement Test—told the Chicago Sun-Times that individual students were pulled from classes to speak to investigators.

In the story, Chicago schools spokesman Joel Hood confirmed that the district is speaking with Drummond Elementary School students, teachers, and staff about the state-mandated testing to “ensure students were comfortable during the time the test was administered.” Hood added that district officials only spoke with students who agreed to be interviewed.

But that apparently did little to assuage the concerns of parents, some of whom learned about the district interviews on Facebook, according to the story.

“I was absolutely furious and I really still am,” a parent whose daughter was interrogated told the Sun-Times. The parent, who asked not to be named, added: “It’s really scary now that I know the power they have. . . . It’s like Russia, there’s no accountability for the powers that be.”

A Chicago district official told me earlier this month for my story about parents opting out of state-mandated testing on behalf of their children that teachers who refused to administer the state test would face disciplinary action that had yet to be determined. Tricia Black, a Drummond Elementary teacher who boycotted the test, described the investigation as a “witch hunt” in the Sun-Times story.

A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.