NORTH BELLMORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Some parents on Long Island are not allowing their children to take the New York State standardized tests because they say the tests are making their kids sick.
Jeanette Deutermann of North Bellmore told WCBS 880 reporter Sophia Hall that it happened suddenly last year.
He normally happy third grade son became upset, crying at night and not wanting to go to school.
She said she soon discovered it was because of the standardized tests that last two weeks. The tests are for students in third through eighth grades.
This year, she said her son is not taking the test.
“Third graders are being forced to read at a seventh, eighth, ninth grade reading level. The test questions themselves, often parents can’t even figure out the answers,” Deutermann told Hall.
She said being faced with questions he couldn’t possibly answer made him physically upset.
Deutermann said she started a Facebook page to encourage parents to opt their children out of the tests.
2,300 parents have done so. She said children are not penalized for not taking the tests.
“What the kids have to do is refuse to take the test and they’re scored as a 999, which is a no score. It doesn’t count against the district, doesn’t count against the student,” she said.
New York State Department of Education Associate Commissioner Ken Wagner issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
“Two years ago the Board of Regents announced that the State would begin testing students on more rigorous academic standards beginning this year. The goal is to make certain that all students are on track to succeed in college and meaningful careers when they graduate high school. Parents who keep their children from taking these tests are essentially saying, ‘I don’t want to know where my child stands, in objective terms, on the path to college and career readiness’ — and we think that that’s doing them a real disservice.”
Parents from around the nation are in Washington, D.C. this week to call for a boycott of standardized testing. The four-day “Occupy the Department of Education” event is organized by United Optout.
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