WNYT.com

135 Ichabod Crane students refuse state testing

Posted at: 04/19/2013 5:44 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

VALATIE - Kate Sundwall didn't want her fifth grade son to take the State's standardized English exams this week, with the tougher Common Core standards.

"Six days of testing. Three months of prep to assess my teacher? No. That's not appropriate," she said.

And as PTA President for Ichabod Crane schools, she wasn't alone. Parents who feel kids are over-tested or over-anxious about testing refused to let a total of 135 children take them.

Their Superintendent supports the tests as a good measure of student and teacher performance. But he did not stand in the way.

"We don't circumvent the parent's right's to make decisions for their kids on these types of issues. So when we have a letter from a parent requesting that their child not test, we honor that," said George Zini, Superintendent of the district.

A majority of parents and guardians, like Deb Keil, didn't object to the exams.

"I didn't have a problem with it, I really didn't. If it's a mandated test, then they should have to take it," Keil said. Her grandson, a 7th-grader, took the exams.

Now the question is whether the number of non-testers will affect government funding. A district technically needing 95-percent participation in state tests to get full subsidies.

"If the government or the state government were to take funding from us I think it's more of a slap on the hand for Ichabod Crane and I don't think that's appropriate," Sundwall said.

It's too soon to know about funding implications. Sundwall predicted even more Ichabod Crane students to sit out next week's standardized math exams.