A New York school district apologized after it held an ice cream party for third- through sixth-graders who took the Common Core language arts exams, but excluded the children whose parents opted out of the controversial education standards.

Houstyn Lehman 5, works on math work as she waits for her mother in the gallery of the State House of Representatives Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. A proposal to delay further implementation of the state’s Common Core standards was approved in the House on Thursday. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, George Walker IV )

Arkport Central School District in Arkport, N.Y., spent much of the last week answering questions about the disparate treatment, fending off what the school’s chief called “ugly” comments on social media and drawing a big crowd at the education board meeting Wednesday night, according to WLEA-AM.

One parent even labeled it “ice cream gate.”

“Very sorry that it was taken in the light that it was taken,” Arkport School Superintendent Glenn Niles told WLEA. “We try to do a simple token, as we’ve done every year that we’ve ever tested, this year was no different. We just had more kids that didn’t take the tests, and therefore, it was a little bigger deal, so we will evaluate what we do in the future.”

Common Core refers to the English and math standards developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. While 44 states, including the District of Columbia, adopted the standards, many of them have since backpedaled: Indiana repealed Common Core altogether, while New York and others are reviewing the implementation of the standards.

Arkport Elementary Principal Catlin Dewey read a prepared apology at the board meeting.

Niles, however, also accused the public of not responding properly.

“I am very disappointed in the reaction, quite honestly.  We were never asked to explain ourselves, we were just basically attacked through social media and through other venues, and it was really unfortunate,” said Niles. “Some of the things said about me, about Mrs. Dewey and about the school, are really just plainly ugly.”

(H/T Biz Pac Review)

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