Hundreds of Central New York parents are opting their kids out of testing this week.
According to a parent website, more than 600 elementary and middle school students refused to take the state English exams on Tuesday, which marked the first day of testing.
Many parents say it is an act of civil disobedience and a way they can protest the state education policy which they say puts too much emphasis on testing and gets in the way of true learning.
Results of the three-day assessments don't count toward student averages, but they do factor into teacher and school evaluations. In New York City, they help determine whether students pass or fail.
Groups compiling numbers from around the state estimate that more than 25,000 of the more than 1 million third- through eighth-graders in the testing pool are skipping this week's tests. Long Island is seeing the highest opt-out numbers.
Depending on the district, students are either quietly reading during the daily 70- to 80-minute sessions or at their desks doing nothing.
Here is what parents are saying on CNYCentral's Facebook page:
Leah Marie Schnurr: "I chose to opt out my 13 year old this year after seeing her in tears Monday night prior to the testing...she was so full of anxiety and stress Monday evening after attending an ELA extra help session after school Monday. Her fears were mostly that she would fail and even after reassuring her over and over that this has nothing to do with her passing or failing she was still completely overwhelmed with the pressure of the exams."
Erik Withey: "It is ruining our education system!!! My 11 year old has 2-3 hours of homework a night, when is she supposed to enjoy her childhood? She is so upset about the testing that she hasn't slept very well for 2 weeks...crazy!!!!"
What do you think about the state assessments? Leave your thoughts below.