Last week, Dan Denvir from the Philadelphia City Paper released a bombshell story revealing that 17 percent of students at Feltonville School of the Arts and Sciences in Philadelphia have opted out-of-state mandated exams that determine whether a school, or teacher, is a good school or teacher or a bad school or teacher. Teachers from the school, who are also members of the Caucus of Working Educators, informed students and parents that they have the right to opt out of these exams citing religious beliefs.
The following day, Philadelphia City Council members Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, Mark Squilla and Jannie Blackwell issued a statement supporting the local opt-out movement. In their support, council members said “until we put some limits on this obsession with testing students, we will see protests like that at Feltonville. We stand with families who are making the choice they believe is best for their children.”
Then early this morning, Kelly Collins, a teacher from the Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences and member of the Caucus of Working Educators, revealed that the School District of the Philadelphia has taken actions against those advocating for the opt-out movement. On Thursday, the school district will issued letters compelling teachers to attend an “investigatory conference.” According to Collins, the number of parents deciding to opt their students out of the exams is growing and is up to twenty percent of the school.