Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - It's a big week in local schools. Thousands of students will be taking the modified state math and English tests. Not all students will be taking part. Some children will opt out of the test. Parents said these test put too much stress on the young students.
Kenmore resident Eric Mihelbergel said his 11-year-old daughter will not be taking the tests this week with her fellow students. She'll join a growing list of students who will opt out of the testing. Parents, educators and school boards have spoken out against the tests. A lot is at stake. The tests will determine how well the teachers are performing and how much state aid schools will receive.
"There's a lot of anxiety going into these tests for 8 and 9-year-old kids. As a parent, that's not what I want them to be experiencing at 8 and 9-years-old. I want them to be excited, I want them to be enjoying their learning," Mihelbergel said.
The state has come out and said students who opt out of the test will not be penalized academically. They do warn a low turnout will hurt a school's chances for state aid and its standing academically.
There's so much opposition to these tests schools across the area have made plans to deal with children who opt out. They can still attend school during test days but will take part in other activities.
The state does warn that these exam results are often used for placement into gifted and talented programs or accelerated courses in middle school. Not taking the exam can eliminate a student from being selected for those programs.