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Parents upset with the "Sit and Stare" policies of some schools

Created: 03/24/2014 11:20 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

We're a little more than a week away from state assessment tests.

 

And some parents who are refusing to let their children take the standardized tests are concerned about policies that will force kids who don't take the test, to "sit and stare" 

 

That's what we're told will happen in some school districts.

 

In Brighton, students will have another option, thanks to a mother who says she did not want her daughter subjected to unnecessary anxiety.

 

Rachel Rosner says her daughter had so much anxiety before last year's assessments it caused her to become ill and suffer emotional damage. So this year, the answer that made sense, was to refuse to allow her daughter to be tested. 

 

Not only does Rosner disagree with the common core assessments, when she learned what her daughter's option would be during the tests, she didn't like that either.

 

“The testing is only there, it’s not there to benefit the student in anyway,” said Rosner.

 

She was told her daughter would have to sit in the room with the other students even though she would not be taking the test. But she would not be allowed to do anything else during that time. 

 

Rosner says she was unhappy with that so she wrote another letter expressing that, and made contact with the principal. But when she says she didn't get anywhere, she requested a meeting with the superintendent.

 

She says working with Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan they were able to come up with a policy that will allow students to leave the testing room and go to another room like the library and read a book or do school work. She says this is much more appropriate. 

 

We also spoke with a Rochester mother, Judy Miranda, whose children will take the assessments. But she wishes they had the same options.

 

“I want to say that is unfair to the children and it's unfair to us. I feel they should have more options. That's what I feel,” said Miranda.

 

“I don't disagree with the ideas and the concepts. I think they're wonderful. The implementation has not been good; the standards themselves are not so great. You can only hope and pray that in 10 years we'll look back on this and say it was worth the struggle. I'm not willing to let my child suffer in the meantime,” said Rosner.

 

We checked other school districts in the area and learned other districts are changing their policies to allow non-test takers to do work in another room. Penfield, Pittsford, and Fairport are among those districts. 

 

Rochester and West Irondequoit will continue the "sit and stare" policy. Webster's policy will allow students to do other work, but they will have to remain in the room with the test takers.

 





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