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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Some local parents don't allow kids to take state assessment tests

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  • Some parents are not allowing their children to take the Common Core-aligned state assessment tests being given this week, as part of the protest movement against New York’s rollout of the new learning standards, local superintendents say.
    However, the vast majority of students are taking the exams.
    The state assessment tests in English are being given this week for students in grades 3-8. The math tests will begin in late April.
    “We have a handful (that are refusing the tests),” said Bath Superintendent Joe Rumsey. “I understand where the parents are coming from, in the sense of their frustration of the implementation of the Common Core from Albany.”
    “Anybody that’s said they are interested in opting out, we’ve been having the parents meet with the principal and with me personally, and go through their concerns - for two reasons. One, to make sure they’re making their decisions based on the facts, and secondly, for me to learn from them.”
    Students who aren’t taking the exams will be able to work on other assignments in an alternate location, Rumsey said.
    There are 33 students opting out in the Corning-Painted Post School District, 20 middle school students and 13 elementary students, which was “far less than I expected,” said Superintendent Mike Ginalski.
    There are 20 students who aren’t taking the tests in the Horseheads Central School District, said Community Information Specialist Sue Pirozzolo. The students will be permitted to read a book, after the first student finishes the test, according to a policy passed by the Horseheads School Board last week.
    Activists and advocacy groups opposing the Common Core, such as the New York State Allies for Public Education, have been encouraging parents to have their children refuse the tests, offering guidelines on how to do so.
    According to media reports, thousands of parents have had their students refuse the tests on Long Island, which seems to be the epicenter of the resistance to the state’s Common Core rollout.
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