ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Protests over the PARCC test reached a new high Tuesday as hundreds of kids from Rio Grande High School marched up Coors Boulevard to West Mesa High School.
Students from Rio Grande High School were looking to make a statement. Hundreds of students bottled up traffic and spoke out against the PARCC test. Some of the students were heard chanting an obscene word.
“I feel like this PARCC test is really, really stressful,” Angelica Moriana, a freshman at RGHS said.
KRQE News 13 was there, walking alongside students as they made their way to West Mesa about five miles away. At times, KRQE News 13 smelled marijuana and heard plenty of profanities about the test.
“I think we need a change,” Sebastian Zubia, a freshman at RGHS said. “We need better leaders and I don’t think this test can make a better leader.”
Tuesday marked the second day students at Rio Grande have protested PARCC, the new standardized test used to grades schools and teachers.
APS police kept a close eye on the crowd.
“They are making us take a test to graduate that no one can pass even the teachers,” Isai Magia said, a RGHS freshman.
KRQE News 13 talked to a student who has already taken a portion of it.
“It’s a very difficult test,” Crystal Prieto said. “It requires a lot of essays.”
A few of the students KRQE News 13 talked to have opted out, others had not.
“If they take you out of the test, you only get a certificate and not a diploma which isn’t fair because we have done a lot of work and for it to go down the drain because of this test it isn’t fair,” Prieto, a 10th-grader at La Academia de Esperanza said.
Alongside APS police, the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department also assisted.
No arrests have been reported.
The only other sizable protest on Tuesday was at Albuquerque High. Unlike Rio Grande, the Albuquerque High students stayed on or around campus on Monday and Tuesday.
After the events during the second day of protesting, Albuquerque Public Schools said there could be consequences.
APS released this statement following Tuesday’s protest:
Over the past two days we’ve witnessed hundreds of APS students walk out of class and sometimes off campus to protest mandatory testing. We respect the rights of students to voice their opinions, but we will not tolerate protests that interfere with the educational rights of others, become disruptive or thrust students into danger.
Because some of these protests have become disruptive and even dangerous, we’ve decided that:
- Students who choose to leave their campuses will be marked unexcused and not be allowed back on campus for the day.
- Students will be given a zero for the entire day of testing and/or missed school assignments.
- Students who decide to leave their assigned campuses and go to other schools can be charged with criminal trespassing and/or face possible suspension.
There are ways to protest without violating the rights of the tens of thousands of students who choose to be in class learning.
Again, we ask parents and guardians to talk with students about the serious safety issues involved when unaccompanied groups of students walk along roadways with heavy traffic. APS is responsible for the safety of our students while they are in their schools. We’re not responsible for student activity or safety off campus.
We hope everyone understands the seriousness of these safety issues. We want students in class where they belong, and we want to do what we can to avoid any tragic, unnecessary consequences from these protests.