The Shoreham-Wading River School District saw an unexpected surge in the number of students declining to participate Tuesday in the first of three days of state English Language Arts assessments.
The opt-out movement is being pushed by parents and educators statewide who continue to protest so-called high-stakes testing tied to the controversial Common Core State Standards.
Shoreham Superintendent Steven Cohen said nearly 400 students refused to take the exams. About 1,200 were expected to take the assessments, he said, adding that there are no academic repercussions for students who do not take the exams.
Last year, he said only 25 students in the district opted out of the tests.
“Parents are challenging their elected officials to intervene in this so-called Reform Agenda because they do not have confidence in the New York State Department of Education,” said Mr. Cohen, who has been an outspoken opponent of the rollout of Common Core. “Educators, board members, and thousands of parents all believe this reform effort has serious defects that hurt children. All while the Regents and Commissioner of Education send their own children to private schools. Isn’t there something amiss here?”
The state is mandating New York public schools to administer English Language Arts assessments April 1-3 and math assessments April 30-May 2 to students in grades 3 through 8.
Numbers from the other districts within Riverhead Town weren’t immediately available.