Some parents, teachers and community advocates want students to take next week's statewide assessments.
Leaders of the Buffalo Urban League and District Parent Coordinating Council spoke at a news conference Wednesday on Fillmore Avenue in Buffalo. They believe the Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Math tests help ensure a high-quality and equitable education.
The news conference purposefully coincided with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The state tests are designed to put an end to a separate and unequal education – something Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for over fifty years ago," said Brenda McDuffie, President and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League.
The coalition of people advocating for state testing participation is calling the campaign "Say Yes to the Test."
"Saying 'yes' to the tests helps move the children of Buffalo – and New York as a whole – closer to the future Dr. King hoped for," said McDuffie.
More than twenty advocacy groups are involved in the coalition, including the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Center for American Progress.
They argue tests help teachers track student progress, as well as identify and close achievement gaps.