Assemblyman introduces legislation to ensure schools notify parents they can refuse to have their children in grades 3-8 participate in controversial Common Core state standardized tests
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville), who was the top vote getter in the Assembly on the Stop Common Core ballot line in 2014, today announced new legislation he is introducing, the “Common Core Parental Refusal Act”, to require that school districts notify parents of their rights to refuse to have their children in grades 3-8 participate in the Common Core standardized tests.
Both parents and teachers have expressed concern over the over-testing of children in New York in regards to how the new Common Core standards are being applied along with the high stakes associated with the results of such tests. Chief among those complaints is that teachers are being forced to spend an inordinate amount of class time “teaching to the test” instead of engaging students in true learning.
In 2014 alone, parents of 60,000 students refused New York State Common Core tests.
Tedisco’s bill (see attached) provides a notification for schools to send to parents informing them of their right to refuse to have their children take the Common Core tests along with a response form that parents can complete and return to the schools. These notices can be sent via email, letter or home with children in their schoolbags.
The legislation protects school districts and individual schools from having state aid withheld or any other punitive measures by the state. The bill protects teachers from being penalized due to a lack of student participation or performance on the exams. It also ensures that students are not punished or rewarded for their participation or lack thereof in the exams and would set aside alternate study activities for those who refuse the tests so they are not forced to “sit and stare” in the same room as their peers who are taking the tests.
“We need to bring common sense to Common Core because New York is wasting a lot of time and money counting things that don’t count. Too much time and effort is being spent needlessly stressing children out to prepare for these Common Core standardized tests, which are of questionable value, instead of focusing on supporting teachers so they can do their job and teach children the truly important essentials, ” said Tedisco, a former public school special education teacher and guidance counselor.
“Perhaps the best kept secret in state government is that parents have a right to refuse to have their children take the Common Core standardized tests if they desire without fear of reprisal against their kids, teachers or schools. It’s long past time that those who should have had a say in the implementation of Common Core at the onset in this representative democracy have their say now in defense of their parental rights as it relates to their children’s educational best interests,” said Tedisco.