Santa Fe students protest testing, damage gate

SANTA FE (KRQE) – Students at both of Santa Fe’s high schools have walked out over testing, and at Capital High School, the situation got a little out of control.

“We are more than just data,” said Alec Nordby.

“I think it’s wrong that they are making us test so much and it’s hard on us and its just not right,” said Maria Banuelos.

Monday, hundreds of students at Capital and Santa Fe High School walked out of class protesting state testing.

“A lot of people left and they tore down a gate and everything,” said Nordby.

Students say the administration wouldn’t let them leave so a group of kids rammed through the student parking lot’s gate to get out.

“I saw a dude hitting the lock with a pickaxe at first then next a truck tried pulling it off with a rope,” said Dylan Vialpando.

The protest was all because of the state mandated PARCC test.

“Everyone has to take it and nobody really likes it, so we are done,” said Nordby.

The PARCC test is an annual critical thinking assessment for kids in grades 3 through 11. It covers math, english and language arts and it’s all on the computer. The purpose is to measure how much students are learning and if they’re prepared for life after high school.

“We were getting pressured and we are just learning stuff to pass a test, so what’s the point of it,” said Cynthia Garcia.

The tests are already controversial. In Santa Fe, at least 10 parents have opted their students out of the exam.

In Albuquerque, more than 450 parents are refusing to let their kids take it. They say the PARCC test is worthless. Students in Santa Fe agree.

“We are more than just data we are kids that need to be able to connect with our teachers as opposed to just be tested,” said Nordby.

Santa Fe police cited the student who damaged the gate at Capital High School. He was released to his parents. The district says it hasn’t handed out any punishments.

The Public Education Department says if more than 5 percent of students at one school opt out of the PARCC test, the school’s overall grade could be affected.

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