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Study Shows Wealthy Districts Behind State's "Opt-Out" Movement

A study conducted by an education-advocacy group has determined that nine out of ten of the districts with the highest number of opt-outs from New York standardized tests are wealthy districts.

High Achievement New York found that "nine of the top 10 school districts where students were pulled out of taking math and English exams in grades 3 through 8 last year were in affluent Long Island communities," according to an article from The New York Post.

"The median income in these school districts is $97,571, far higher than the $58,003 state average," according to the article.

On the other hand, half of New York City's school districts saw no opt-outs. "By comparison, none of the students in half of New York City’s school districts opted out of the exams, mostly in the poorest neighborhoods — in Harlem as well as much of The Bronx and Brooklyn."

The New York school district with the largest number of student opt-outs, Suffolk County's Sachem school district, had 3,502 withdrawals with the second highest being 2,434, the article said.

Opponents of Common Core standardized tests and therefore proponents of the "Opt-Out" movement are vehemently against evaluating students and teachers through blanket testing.

"Anti-Common Core group NYS Allies for Public Education claims high-stakes exams 'force teachers to teach to the test, cost millions of dollars, teach children there is only one right answer, take the joy out of learning and create major cheating in school districts,' the article said.

Conversely, the group that conducted the study, High Achievement, "says the boycott is blocking the opportunity to identify and aid struggling students."

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

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