"Sit and Stare" not sitting well with some parents

Created: 03/31/2014 11:37 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

If you're a parent of a child in 3rd through 8th grade, you know the state common core testing begins Tuesday.

The state assessments have been at the center of a controversial practice that affects students who refuse to take the exams.

It's a policy parents have coined "sit and stare,” because students in some districts are forced to sit in the room with the test takers, but they're not allowed to do anything.

Kim Salisbury emailed the principal and superintendent of the Marion Central School District a week ago, to inform them she would not be allowing her 9-year-old daughter to take the state assessment tests. Salisbury says she asked about alternatives, as of school closing time Monday, she says her school district didn't have an alternative.

“To sit for seven and a half hours is excessive.”

Salisbury says her fourth grader will have to sit in the room with the test takers, and stare with no books, no homework or other school material. She says she offered three alternatives including going to another room to work, read a book or go to a kindergarten classroom and help students with reading. But to no avail.

Salisbury says it’s unfair to non-test takers and test takers alike. And she is not alone in her feelings about this policy of “sit and stare” as some parents call it. Parents in Williamsville, New York protested a similar policy today in that school district. Salisbury says it's wrong.

“If it were a one day test for 30 minutes or even 60 minutes, I would consider it. But with 7 and a half hours of testing with no benefit to her whatsoever, it’s not going to tell me anything. All it's going to do is give the state a number so they can grade the school and grade the teacher,” said Salisbury.

We did reach out to Marion school superintendent Kathryn Wegman throughout the afternoon and evening. Neither our emails nor calls have been returned.

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