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Is Common Core Opt-Out the Right Move?

Tests and protests. State Common Core tests began today throughout New York. 60,000 students opted out of those tests last year with more expected to this year....

Test results are used as part of the state's Teacher Evaluation System. The State Teachers' Union and parent groups opposed to this, and those who have raised questions as to how well the tests assess students, have urged parents to opt their children out of tests. But according to a spokesman for the State's Education Department, federal funding could be at stake for districts who fall below a 95-percent participation rate in tests.

He said, "when a district fails to ensure that students participate in required state assessments, the state education agency is expected to consider imposing sanctions on that district, including -- in the most egregious cases -- withholding programmatic funds. What sanctions to impose must be decided on a case by case basis."

The Superintendent of the Maine-Endwell School District says initial reports show more children are opting out than last year, but those taking the test are still getting value from it.

"They are 21st-century, Common Core-learning based. They are the way that our New York State Regents are heading and being implemented. So students in (grades) three through eight are getting a foreshadowing of what they're going to see at the high school level, where there is no opting out," said Maine-Endwell Superintendent Jason Van Fossen.

Tuesday through Thursday students in grades three through eight will take English Language Arts tests. Next week they will take math tests Wednesday through Friday.