The Common Core Parental Refusal Act has been introduced in both the New York State assembly (bill A6025) and senate (bill S4161). The bill will ensure that parents know of their right to refuse state testing provided by Pearson or any other state testing based on common core standards for their students in grades 3-8. Students can not be penalized for refusal and students who take the tests can not be rewarded. Also teachers and school districts will not be penalized because of student refusals in their classrooms/school districts.
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco clearly explained WHY the Common Core Parental Refusal Act is being put forward in the first 7 minutes of this press conference on March 17, 2015. He also explained why many parents want to refuse the state tests. You can read a statement from Assemblymember Jim Tedisco here.
The bill says that school districts will inform every parent that they have the right to have their children refuse to take any related Common Core test and their child will not be penalized in any way. Those who take the test will not be rewarded. Students can not be forced to sit-and-stare. The refusing students will have to be provided academic work while the other students are taking the tests.
The bill also ensures that teachers are not penalized if students in their classes refuse the state tests nor will schools be penalized if students in their school districts refuse the state tests (no penalties if the school/district falls below 95% participation rate). There will be no loss of school aid, no sanctions. The schools will not be put on a list of under-performing or failing schools due to students refusing the state tests.
Assemblymembers Peter Lopez and Claudia Tenney, representing portions of Ulster County, both spoke in support of this bill during the press conference. A number of quotes from the press conference are reported here if you are not able to watch the full video.
Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan plans to write a majority version of this bill according to Assemblyman Tedisco. This article also alludes to that fact. I don’t care which political party gets ‘credit’ for this legislation but it needs to be passed, with all of the points listed above, and it needs to be passed right away since the New York State ELA test begins on April 14, 2015 – less than FOUR weeks from now!!
Please contact your legislators and urge them to move this legislation through quickly so parents can refuse the tests with confidence.