Few East Meadow students refuse tests

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The parents’ main objective, they said, is to bring about change in the state’s educational standards. “What we’re hoping is that this is a message sent to Governor Cuomo and to the State Education Department,” said Paul, “and that they … change the Common Core curriculum, because it happened so quickly, and it’s certainly not developmentally appropriate.”

The governor’s response

In a statement sent to the Herald by the governor’s press office, Cuomo said he understands both sides of the argument, but is leaving the authority to determine the tests’ direction to the State Education Department. “We put in place for the first time a teacher evaluation system that will allow us to evaluate schools, the performance of a school, the performance of a teacher,” Cuomo said. “We’ll have basis across the state to do comparisons. This is going to revolutionize the system. And we went from a system where all we did was spend more money every year, with no idea of the relative achievement and the relative performance, and now were going to have a statewide system of comparison and data to track year to year. The standardized tests are a part of that.”

Roxanne Rose, president of the East Meadow PTA Council, said that the national PTA recently issued a statement saying that it does not support opting out. Rose added that she understands the pressures schoolchildren are facing, but maintained that they should take the test because their performance has no ramifications. “You take the test and you do the best you can,” she said. “The whole world isn’t on your shoulders to do well or not well. I think that’s really important for kids to understand.”

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