Parents react to NYS Common Core test results

Posted at: 08/08/2013 6:00 PM | Updated at: 08/08/2013 7:28 PM

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Thousands of students across the state failed to meet standards for math and English. The students took the new Common Core or state standardized exams back in the spring. Less than a third in the entire state passed. So should parents be concerned?

Melissa Barber was one of many parents who wanted their children to opt out of the test. There has been a loud chorus of criticism about the curriculum and how children are judged on these exams.

The Common Core standards have been adopted in most states, but there is a growing contingent of people who oppose the new tests. That has spawned websites like STOP Common Core New York.
Melissa Barber was outspoken last April when her son, Hunter, was in eighth grade in the Rush Henrietta School District and was facing the math and ELA exams. She chose to opt him out of the tests because she says it was unfair to subject him to the pressures of the exams when much of the material had not been taught. But she is also a sixth grade teacher in the city school district. She says she's not surprised by the results and says it's further proof that the new standards are not a fair assessment.

Melissa Barber said, "Every single child on this state exam has to have the same exact work, the same exact formula how to get to an answer and if you don't have that, your answer is incorrect.  I think you need to let teachers teach. I think you need to stop telling teachers how to teach a child because every child doesn't learn the same. We're not robots. Children are not robots."

Retired East Rochester Superintendent Howard Maffucci keeps an education blog and responded to the results by saying, "There is so much wrong with the imposition of these tests, it's hard to know where to start. It really is time to just say no.”

In the meantime, Barber says she will continue to opt her children out of the tests in the future unless there are changes in the way the tests are administered.

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