Opposed to ‘excessive testing’
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In Rockville Centre, however, where the district’s superintendent, Dr. William Johnson, supported activists who were calling for parents to opt out, more than 300 students declined to take the test.
In each district, students who did so were made to sit at their desks in the testing room and accept the test booklet. They were not allowed to leave until the test time had expired, nor were they allowed to go to another room. They were marked “not tested,” state officials said.
Those who did not show up for the test were marked absent, and will be issued a makeup test.
Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education, a state advocacy group, said, “It is not difficult to understand why growing numbers of parents around the country are choosing to have their children opt out of testing. Too often, our state and national policy makers have confused testing with teaching.”
Janet Deutermann, a parent in Rockville Centre who started the Facebook page that generated support for the opt-out cause, said, “Parents are finally educating themselves on the state of our educational system, and we are horrified by what we have found. Excessive testing on educationally inappropriate material, an experimental core curriculum, which eliminates inspired and creative learning, selling of our children’s data without our consent and a system that vilifies the only component of education that puts our children first: our teachers.”
Asked by reporters to comment on the opt-out movement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “I’ve heard both sides of the argument. I understand the controversy. The State Education Department is the entity that is in charge. It’s not my place to side with the students who are opting out. … Has there ever been a student who says, I love tests? I hated tests, but it’s the nature of the beast. I understand that there are parents who feel that we are testing too much, but that’s part of the process.”