As testing began in public school classrooms across New York this week, administrators faced a huge backlash from upset parents who chose to opt their children out of the exams. Federal curriculum standards known as Common Core mandated the standardized testing, which many feel places undue stress on kids by giving test results a huge bearing on overall grades.
One group tracking the backlash within the state of New York recently released some staggering statistics that show an overwhelming majority of kids refusing to take the tests in certain districts. Even teachers unions, specifically New York State United Teachers, have encouraged parents to opt out of the assessments.
A Long Island-area district topped the list, with a whopping 82 percent of parents deciding their children should not be subjected to the series of tests. Numerous others had opt-out rates well above 50 percent. The 2015 results are projected to be twice as high as the number of refusals tallied just a year ago. Nevertheless, High Achievement New York Executive Director Stephen Sigmund touted the ostensible success of the program.
“You’re going to have one million kids take these assessments in the next two weeks,” he insisted, “so you can’t lose sight of the fact that the vast majority are taking the assessments.”
He went on to lambaste parents and other Common Core opponents, saying “they shouldn’t be encouraging kids to refuse tests, and particularly the teachers unions shouldn’t be encouraging them.”
While, as in previous studies, there does seem to be a correlation between high opt-out rates and wealthier school districts, criticism of Common Core is becoming a nationwide issue across socioeconomic divides. Politicians in several states have introduced legislation designed to keep the federal mandates out of schools and students; and despite efforts to silence opposition, parents, teachers, and students continue to voice their concerns about a program that forces educators to teach test-related material instead of offering more comprehensive lessons.
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth