Dad's Cheeky Absence Note Takes on Standardized Testing

Chicago's Jeff Jenkins said his daughter couldn't wait to get back to exams
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2016 7:47 AM CST
Dad's Cheeky Absence Note Takes on Standardized Testing
In this Feb. 12, 2015, file photo, practice test books sit on a table at Morgan South Elementary School in Stockport, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Ty Wright, File)

A Chicago girl was sick from school on Wednesday, so her dad had to pen a note to explain her absence. And Jeff Jenkins didn't hold back in describing both why she missed class and how he feels about standardized testing, CBS Chicago reports. After noting his child had been ill, Jenkins wrote, in an obviously sarcastic tone: "She is feeling much better today and is eager to get back to school in hopes of achieving a high score on any number of Standardized Tests that will be given this year to insure that Private Corporations continue to receive huge and profitable contracts from [Chicago Public Schools] voted on by the Appointed Board of Education." Jenkins joins an outspoken number of parents who are raising a ruckus about what they say is a "toxic culture of testing," per CBS News.

Although students are made to take state tests once a year in grades three through eight and once more in in high school, states and districts often pile on their own tests, many tied to Common Core standards. The Council of the Great City Schools found that students end up taking an average 112 standardized tests during their pre-K-to-12th grade career, spending about 25 hours per school year on such exams. But many parents and students are now rebelling against the tests and joining the "opt-out" movement (the Sun-Times reported 11% of Chicago students skipped the new PARCC test last year). In regard to his own rant, Jenkins tells CBS 2 that "using humor and irony to point out injustice and hypocrisy can be an effective way to promote dialogue and change." (But does it measure up to this school note?)

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