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Middle School Students Who Opted Out Denied Ice Cream

Middle School Students Who Opted-Out Denied Ice Cream

In New York, the opt-out movement from standardized testing continues to be the strongest in the nation. In one upstate middle school, parents and supporters of the opt-out movement are enraged after their children were denied ice cream for not participating in the exams.

At Thousand Island Middle School in Clayton, New York, "students who took the Common Core exams last week were treated to ice cream and students who opted out of the test were left out," according to an article on

According to a statewide opt-out group who has been tracking the numbers, over 150,000 New York students have opted-out of the math exam and nearly 200,000 out of the English language arts exam.

As for the Thousand Island Middle School, "about 126 students opted out of the English language arts exam two weeks ago, and 137 students didn't take the math exams last week," according to the article.

Parents of these students feel as if the isolation of their students from the school's ice cream party was an unspoken comment on how the school feels about parents allowing their children to opt-out.

"Stephen C. Byers, father of a middle school student, told the newspaper that 'it seems like they were throwing the party in the face of parents who opted out their kids,'" the article said.

In response to the controversy, Superintendent Frank C. House said the party was organized by principal Michael F. Bashaw Jr. and has been "every year since 2012" without issue so far.

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Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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