New Petition Against Standardized Tests

WEBSTER, NY - Do you think your child should be taking standardized tests in school? Some critics say there should be an alternative.

 The Change the State Campaign and the Grassroots Education Movement are asking New York parents to sign an online petition against it.

As of Monday, more than 300 parents from across the state have signed the petition. So far, they want all parents to be able opt out of standardized testing for elementary kids.

The state requires most public schools to have students in grades three through eight complete and pass standardized tests.

The subjects include Math, Science, English and Language Arts.

Private schools and some public schools with waivers are exempt.

Parent and former educator Dan Drmacich with the Coalition for Justice in Education says teachers are now teaching to the test instead of helping students develop critical thinking and cognitive skills.

"This whole focus on test scores is becoming so competitive and so comparative," Drmacich said. "It's really sucking out the life of what it really means to have a good education."

Many parents in Rochester and nearby communities agree and signed it.

Opponents say standardized tests allow the state to keep track of how different schools are performing over time.

Petition organizers plan to present the petition and parent comments to the governor and members of the State Senate and Assembly.

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