NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Parents across New York on Tuesday were protesting the statewide Common Core tests by having their children opt out of the exams despite a new state law that essentially renders the assessments moot for students.
Students in third through eighth grades started on the tests Tuesday, beginning with the English language arts assessments. They are spending a little less than 1 1/2 hours a day testing for three consecutive days, finishing Thursday.
On Long Island, some estimates put the number of test refusals at more than 12,000 students, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
Parents at one school district told Gusoff they are fuming after what they said their children who refused to take the tests were forced to do during test time.
Seventh-grader Kaylee Paperin was signed out of school for 90 minutes while her schoolmates took the test. Her mother said she didn’t want her to sit and stare while others took the test.
“She was going to have to sit in the classroom and just do nothing at the desk. And I thought that was ridiculous,” said East Meadow parent Dawn Paperin.
It’s not an official school policy, but it is what some parents in the East Meadow School District say happens when they opt out of state testing: students sit and stare, not allowed to read a book or leave the testing room.
“It’s completely ludicrous you’re wasting valuable learning time for my child when he can be reading something,” said East Meadow parent Rachel Amodeo.
In the Plainview-Old Bethpage School District, 10 percent of students opted out on this first day of testing, Gusoff reported.
More than 60 percent of the children at Comsewogue School District in Port Jefferson Station.
Those who refused were given space in classrooms and auditoriums with teacher supervision.
In East Meadow, the school district said “students who desire reading materials may read their tests or put their head down and rest.”
East Meadow parents said their protests have gotten them no where.
“There has been no response. I’ve sent countless emails, letters. I’ve started a petition fighting against the sit-and-stare,” said parent Alicia Piazza-Coffey.
East Meadow school officials told CBS 2 students who opted out will not be penalized for lost time or have to sit for make-up tests.