Focus on Education
10:09 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Protesters rally against Common Core tests

Parents, students and teachers protested against Common Core-based state testing outside Williamsville North High School.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Opponents of New York's standardized tests were picketing outside Williamsville North High School Monday, attacking a district policy that students who don't take the tests are required to "sit and stare."

This has turned into a major issue and a major attack on the state's system of high-stakes testing.

Students are allowed to refuse the tests although federal law sets penalties if too many in a district refuse. The question is whether the students can stay home or sit somewhere else in the school and read or do they have to sit in the same classroom where classmates are taking the test. The policy has become known as "sit and stare."

Mill Middle Sixth Grader Makenna Weaver says she won't be taking the test.

"I don't think they are a very good idea because it's not helping all the kids who don't want or need the testing. It's not helping all the gifted kids."

The daughter of a teacher, Weaver doesn't think the tests are of any value in education.

"I actually have two friends who are refusing the New York State tests and they agree with me on this. And, there is another kid I know who I actually got into refusing," Weaver said.

There is a lot of opposition to the tests among parents across the state and among teachers. One picketing parent says she chose to home-school her two daughters because she decided their education was being damaged in the classrooms.