Some telling kids not to take Common Core tests

Kristin Thorne reports from West Islip
March 27, 2014 2:49:27 PM PDT
Angry parents voiced their frustration Thursday in two protests over new Common Core standards.

They gathered in front of PS 368 in Hamilton Heights.

Parents say their children are being over-tested and forced to take too many high stakes exams.

Some parents on Long Island are telling their children not to take the test.

"We are not refusing testing for our children because the tests are too hard, we are refusing testing for our children because the tests are unfair," said Candace Donin, a parent.

They have done rally after rally demanding an end to the Common Core.

Now some Long Island parents are telling their children to refuse to take the state tests next week.

"At this point we have thrown up our arms and saying you have given us no other choice," said Madeleine Sharp, a parent.

"Common Core thrives on data, the beast is fed by data, so we have to cut off the food supply," said Mary Calamia, a LI United Against Common Core.

The state Department of Education says these tests are critical in helping teachers and parents understand how the child is doing in school.

"I know whether or not my son or sons are doing well in a topic or not based on review of their homework, what they're doing in school, their regular test grades that are coming home," said Dina Lodie, a parent.

It is unclear how many children will opt out this spring, but what is clear is that the opt out movement is growing.

Parents are fed up and want to send a message to local legislators and education officials.

"You didn't want to play ball us, we are the taxpayers, these are our local school districts, we built them and we have the final say in the matter," Sharp said.

But some parents say telling kids to refuse to take a test sends the wrong message.

"What message, don't do your classwork, do what's best for the kids," said Julie Cannistra, a parent.

"He will. It's protocol. It will help him down the line in test taking skills," said Kerry Oneta, a parent.

Opponents of the common core will be holding a rally this Saturday on Long Island. The I-Refuse Great American Opt Out will be held at Comsewogue High School in Port Jefferson Station from 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is expected to be in attendance.