One of the mothers, Cindy, said she attended a bilingual Common Core meeting at the district office and recorded most of it on her cell phone. She showed the Reader the video that supported her assertion that her questions were ignored. At the end of the meeting the video shows a district representative insisting on walking her to her car (it was still daytime). She tells him no. He continues to follow. She tells him she doesn't feel comfortable and that she is an adult woman and can make her own way to her car. Finally, she tells him it's intimidation and he stops at the curb and returns to the district office.
When contacted with a question about parents excluding their children from testing, district spokesperson Anthony Millican emailed this statement: “Education Code is clear that you can opt out now on state standardized testing but it appears that the provision will expire in July 2014. Education Code 60615 provides more information.
“We believe very few will actually opt out of testing with the implementation of Common Core. As a matter of fact, only 79 of our approximately 29,000 students were not tested last year. And many of those cited severe cognitive disabilities as their reason for opting out, not political reasons. Parents who have taken the opportunity to learn about the new college and career readiness standards are overwhelmingly supportive.”
Shortly after sending this statement, Millican contacted me and asked if my family members — one who is employed by the district, another who is retired from the district — belonged to the anti-Common Core group of parents who spoke. The answer: No.
Millican then implied my family members belonged to the national opt-out movement. Again, no.
Nevertheless, on Saturday, November 16, at 6:30 p.m., Millican sent this email: “I inquired about your family connections to our staff because, and with all due respect, I am sure your readers would expect that you would disclose this connection; I am certain that our employees and the public would appreciate knowing of the connection, especially the fact that you are the mother of a negotiating team member for the teachers union in the Chula Vista Elementary School District.”