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New York Teachers Encourage Parents to Opt-Out As State Education Officials Beg Them to Reconsider

New York Teachers Encourage Parents to Opt-Out As State Education Officials Beg Them to Reconsider

Last year New York, home to the nation’s largest school district, saw an unprecedented number of students opting out of state exams. By the end of the school year, it was revealed that 20 percent of the state’s entire student body sat the exams out.

As testing season begins again this year, several of the state’s education officials are asking parents for their trust once again after using the time in-between to make significant changes to the exams.

Last week, New York’s education commissioner MaryEllen Elia told parents that the state is making the necessary changes will continuously use more teacher involvement when creating exams; she asked that parents restore their trust in the process and have their children sit for the tests.

According to the New York Post, however, the state’s teachers aren’t sold that officials are doing everything they can. The publication says that teachers have been busy e-mailing parents in support of the opt-out movement.

'It’s your right to opt out of the NY State Tests ... Alternative educational activities are planned for all students opting out,’ one email sent by a third grade PS 8 teacher said,” according to the Post.

The Post said teachers at one school sent a four-page letter home to parents "slamming the exams and applauding the 73 percent of parents who opted out last year.”

Opposition isn’t limited to teachers- the NY Post says administrators in certain schools are speaking out against tests as well.

"Parents at the dual-language Castle Bridge School in Washington Heights said principal Julia Zuckerman tells them upfront about their right of test refusal,” the article said.

The city’s Department of Education has warned teachers about encouraging opt-outs in the past, but no action has been taken against disobedient teachers yet.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/4/2016

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