Math opt-outs up in SWR, down in Riverhead


The number of students opting out of state-mandated math assessments this year increased across the board on the North Fork, mirroring a trend seen last week with the required English Language Arts tests.

At the Riverhead School District, 916 out of 2,341 students — approximately 31 percent — declined to sit for testing.

Riverhead School District:

Grade 3: 433 eligible, 96 refused
Grade 4: 404 eligible, 123 refused
Grade 5: 409 eligible, 159 refused
Grade 6: 388 eligible, 187 refused
Grade 7: 376 eligible, 186 refused
Grade 8: 331 eligible, 165 refused

At the Riverhead Charter School, 36 out of 218 students — or nearly 16 percent — opted out of the first day of assessments.

Raymond Ankrum, principal of the Riverhead Charter School, said that there needs to be an increase in education standards in order for American students to be able to compete successfully in a global market.

“The unveiling of the Common Core in NY State was a disaster,” he said. “Common Core standards should have started with a cohort of kindergarteners, and progressed with the kindergarteners through the 12th grade.  Education is trial and error, so we look forward to having the opportunity to give feedback to the [New York State Education Department] for continued change and growth in the process.”

Riverhead Charter School:

Grade 3: 50 eligible, 6 refused
Grade 4: 46 eligible, 9 refused
Grade 5: 51 eligible, 10 refused
Grade 6: 29 eligible, 4 refused
Grade 7: 24 eligible, 4 refused
Grade 8: 18 eligible, 3 refused

Over at Shoreham-Wading River, approximately 75 percent of students in grades three to seven refused to take the state-mandated exams during the first two days. SWR provided the data as the percentage of students who declined to sit for the exam.

Shoreham-Wading River:

Grade 3: 77 percent of eligible students refused
Grade 4: 75.5 percent of eligible students refused
Grade 5: 76.9 percent of eligible students refused
Grade 6: 75 percent of eligible students refused
Grade 7: 72 percent of eligible students refused

Some additional eighth graders were also eligible for the state-mandated assessments, but because they are in an advanced math class they also qualified to take the state Regents exam and decided to take the Regents test instead.

No data was provided for SWR students in eighth grade because “the vast majority of our grade eight students are accelerated and do not take the math assessment in lieu of the Common Core Algebra I Regents exam,” said Alan Meinster, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment in the district, said.

Similarly, 85 eighth graders in the Riverhead School District chose to take the state Regents exam instead of the state-mandated math assessment, according to Superintendent Nancy Carney.

In 2015, approximately 34 percent of students in the Riverhead School District opted out of the math exams. At SWR 73 percent of eligible students declined to sit for the state-mandated math tests that same year.

Last week, 39 percent of eligible students at the Riverhead School District, 74 percent of eligible SWR students and nearly 13 percent of students at Riverhead Charter School opted out of the ELA assessments this year.

Math testing continues until Friday, April 15.

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