By Associated Press - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The start of another round of Common Core testing in New York on Wednesday brought another round of students opting out of the test.

Last week, tens of thousands of students sat out the statewide English assessments given annually to students in grades three through eight. The yearly math testing began Wednesday and continues through Friday.

Media reports from around the state indicated that districts again saw significant numbers of students who, with their parents’ permission, refused to take the tests.

Critics, including teachers unions, say students are tested too much and it is unfair to use test results to evaluate teachers. The tests are meant to reflect how well teachers and students are performing under the new Common Core standards, adopted by most states.

The United to Counter activist group said reports from 73 percent of the districts showed 185,000 students opted out of last week’s English assessments. The number of students who opted out the first day of math testing was being tallied.



Last year, about 49,000 students did not take the English tests and about 67,000 sat out the math tests, according to the state Education Department. About 1.1 million students took each test.

The department said it would release this year’s numbers over the summer after all 700 districts have scored the exams and submitted their data.

Federal law requires states to assess students each year and mandates that 95 percent of students in each school participate or face possible financial sanctions.

U.S. Department of Education spokesman Dorie Nolt said in a statement last week that the department “has not had to withhold money - yet - over the requirement because states have either complied or have appropriately sanctioned schools or districts that assessed less than 95 percent of students.”

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