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Ever since New York’s first round of Common Core tests in 2013, parents have become increasingly aware of the high stakes nature of the ELA and Math exams in grades 3-8. Although parents and teachers have spent countless hours voicing concerns, the New York State Education Department has done very little, if anything, to make the assessments developmentally appropriate. These concerns include, but are not limited to:

the use of reading passages that are two to three years above grade level expectations
poorly written questions that confuse students, rather than assess specific skills
the unintended negative consequences of removing the time limit from each section, which has some students testing for multiple hours each day

The Buffalo Teachers Federation strongly supports a parent’s right to “refuse” the state standardized tests if the parent believes state testing is inappropriate and may be harmful to his or her child. Additionally, students should not be subject to any type of “sit and stare” policy that requires them to sit in the test room for up to 10 hours (over the course of the testing period). We oppose any such policy.

If you would like to learn more about your right to refuse state testing, please visit www.nysape.org.

While the New York State Education Department’s overreliance on state tests creates unfortunate consequences for our students, teachers, and schools, please know that we value your children as more than a test score.

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