Riverhead School District

Carney: About 10 percent of students opted out in Riverhead

Riverhead High School
Riverhead School District officials have confirmed 217 refusals out of 2,218 students in grades 3 through 8, or 9.8 percent of students, opted out of last week’s state assessments. (Credit: News-Review, file)

The Riverhead School District saw a bump in students declining to participate in last week’s English Language Arts assessments, which were administered last Wednesday through Friday.

“Many came in the last two days,” said Riverhead Superintendent Nancy Carney.

Riverhead schools saw 217 refusals out of 2,218 students in grades 3 through 8, or 9.8 percent of students, Ms. Carney said.

During the week before the exams, Ms. Carney had said 25 Riverhead students weren’t planning to take the assessments — up from just seven last year.

Fifteen of the children who will not take the assessments this year attend Riley Avenue Elementary School, Ms. Carney had said.

No additional breakdown of last week’s numbers was immediately available.

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.

Ms. Carney has expressed support for the standards themselves, while at the same time voicing concerns about the state’s rollout of rigorous new academic goals.

The Riverhead figures were much lower than in neighboring Shoreham-Wading River, where last Wednesday Superintendent Steven Cohen said nearly 400 students refused to take the exams, or about a third of the 1,200 students expected to take the assessments.

Last year, he said only 25 students in the district opted out of the tests.

Students in grades 3 through 8 will be taking math assessments April 30-May 2.

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