In the five years since the introduction of Common Core standardized testing, a growing number of parents and teachers in the state have expressed concern around over-testing of children. So on Wednesday, members of state legislature introduced a bill that may give parents a chance to opt their children out, Gannett Albany reports.
More specifically, the bill– the “Common Core Parental Refusal Act”– is a joint effort between Assembly and Senate Republicans which will ensure that school districts properly notify parents of their right to opt out.
Last year, about 60,000 parents opted their children out of the state’s Common Core tests. The bill would require school districts to notify the parents of students in grades 3 through 8 either by mail, written email or a letter sent home with the child that the student may refuse to participate in all state testing provided by testing giant Pearson Inc. or any other state testing based on Common Core standards.
However, High Achievement New York, a coalition of education, civic and business groups in support of Common Core standards in the state, plan to push back. Steve Sigmund, the executive director of High Achievement, argues that the tests take less than 1 percent of total class time and are an invaluable tool in helping identify and correct problems early.
“The opt-out bill proposed in Albany would be an unfunded mandate that places a top down burden on local school districts, which is exactly what critics falsely accuse the Common Core of,” Sigmund said.
Still, State Sen. Terrence Murphy, of Westchester County, who is sponsoring the bill, said at a news conference said, “As a legislator, I will do everything in my power to try to make sure that we bring education and the right education back to New York and, to be quite honest with you, bring some common sense approach back to New York and the education department.”