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Posted February 25, 2015

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APS Responds to Rumors of Student Protests

We're aware of social media posts encouraging students to demonstrate against mandatory state testing that begins next week.

Dear APS Students, Parents and Guardians,

We are aware of campaigns on social media encouraging students to participate in walkout protests of PARCC tests. Albuquerque Public Schools respects the right of individuals to demonstrate as long as the demonstrations are safe, orderly and don’t require students to lose academic time. Students need to be in class during school hours.

So there is no confusion in the days ahead we want to explain how student protests will be handled.

PARCC testing will begin on Monday, March 2 as planned. These tests are mandated by the State of New Mexico. Any student who doesn’t have an excused absence during testing week will receive a zero on the portion of the test missed. A decision to participate in a protest during class time will result in an unexcused absence.

Also, please be aware that schools cannot be responsible for the safety and security of students if they choose to leave their school campus.

With 142 campuses we can expect that each demonstration will be dealt with individually. However, under no circumstance will vandalism or disorderly conduct be tolerated.

APS has not turned a deaf ear to the many opinions about PARCC testing, but the fact remains that the tests are mandatory and will be used to assess student performance and will also be reflected in teacher evaluations and the overall school grade.

We are public schools so we embrace social engagement. Your opinion always matters. We ask that you consider the many options you have to be heard:

  • Write a letter to your school board member, legislator or other elected official;
  • Register to vote and exercise that right;
  • Attend public meetings to voice your concerns;
  • Organize a petition drive;
  • Contact local media to express your concerns.

We encourage you to discuss the information provided here with your student so he/she understands how APS will proceed should there be student protests in the immediate future.

It’s impossible in public education to find agreement on the myriad of issues we deal with, but we all value safety and respect. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Dr. Brad Winter, Interim Superintendent

 

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