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Baltimore Students Walk Out To Protest Standardized Tests

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Taking to the streets---more than 100 students from schools across Baltimore City walk out of class, demanding that the city stop its requirement of the PARCC test.

Amy Yensi was at the rally.

The students met with the administration ahead of the protest to express their concerns with the test. Friday, they returned to make their message loud and clear.

Voicing their frustration with standardized tests, dozens of students from across Baltimore walked out of school and rallied outside of city school headquarters.

"It's our education. We want to fight for it," said student Rayshon Moore.

They're fighting for Baltimore City to do away with the state-mandated exam known as the PARCC test. According to our media partner, the Baltimore Sun, students in our region are having trouble passing it.

The students say they want to be at the table when decisions about that are being made. They're hoping this large turnout will make that clear to the administration.

"I've had teachers tell me `You're not going to know anything on the test. Just guess,'" said Alexis Gray.

Katie Arevalo is with the Algebra Project, the student-led group behind the rally. She says common core tests like PARCC put students of color at a disadvantage.

"If we aren't learning the right things in the classroom or learning them in a culturally relative way, then you don't have the right to test us on anything," said Arevalo.

The students are also walking out to mark the anniversary of Fredide Gray's death in police custody and the riots that followed.

"Freddie Gray fell victim to an institution that basically suppresses people of color," said Marie Mokuba.

In a statement to WJZ, Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Gregory Thorton says "City school leaders are committed to maintaining a good working relationship with the organizers in order to engage in ongoing productive discussions."

"If institutions aren't on our side, then we're going to keep doing things like this," said Arevalo.

The rally is part of a campaign to boycott the PARCC test here in Baltimore.

Students who purposefully missed school to attend the rally may be in violation of the school's code of conduct and could be penalized for it.

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