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Apr 14, 2015 5:23 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

South Fork Parents Are Choosing To Opt Children Out Of State Exams This Week

Apr 15, 2015 11:25 AM

While school districts throughout New York are administering the state English language arts exam this week to students in third through eighth grades, some parents are choosing to opt out of their children taking the test, a movement that has spread rapidly on the South Fork.

The decision by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and his administration to weigh the test results heavily in teachers’ evaluations has struck an angry chord with educators, parents and some school administrators who say they do not believe that test scores are a good measurement of a teacher’s effectiveness.

The tests are the second round of exams under the Common Core curriculum, which was first implemented in the state for the 2013-14 school year.

Many South Fork schools reported opt-outs for the ELA test that began Tuesday, including as many as 48 percent in the Southampton School District, 42 percent in Westhampton Beach, 28 percent in Sag Harbor, and 26 percent of students in Hampton Bays. Twenty-two percent of students refused at the Bridgehampton School, and 15 percent opted out in Tuckahoe.

Just two students refused at the Amagansett School, although that is an increase from last year’s count of zero, Superintendent Eleanor Tritt said.

At the Montauk School, Superintendent and Principal Jack Perna said that roughly 17 percent of students refused to take the test on Tuesday, and that he expected that number to only increase over the course of the exam’s three days. Mr. Perna added, though, that he understands parents’ and teachers’ frustrations, as he doesn’t believe the test is well-written enough for students to comprehend it well enough to be fairly evaluated.

“People aren’t happy with the Common Core. So this is just a last resort with the parents. We have tried, and tried, and tried, but nobody’s listening,” he said, referring to statewide efforts to get the New York School Boards Association to make changes to the curriculum and assessments.

Some other district officials, however, did not view opting out as the right move. Ms. Tritt said she thinks the exams provide a lesson for students in following rules and then taking other steps to articulate their viewpoints.

Sag Harbor Superintendent Katy Graves said she is in favor of the Common Core curriculum, although she is not happy with Mr. Cuomo’s attempts to reduce local control in evaluating teachers. Ms. Graves added that the Teachers Association of Sag Harbor played a big role in getting parents to sign refusal forms for their children for that very reason. The Southampton Teachers Association also played a big role in getting students there to refuse. “Our teachers association is very concerned,” Ms. Graves said. “But I really, really believe in the curriculum. It’s been very difficult to implement, but Sag Harbor Schools has been doing very, very well.”

Staff writers Erin McKinley and Kyle Campbell contributed reporting.

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These tests are made by people hired by Pearson, many of whom are paid a pathetic 11 bucks per hour to create and score tests. In many cases College degrees are not even required. The opt outs by informed parents prove that the standardized testing system is nothing but a big business opportunity for companies like Pearson and lobbyists. In terms of teachers evaluations, using standardized tests created by uneducated people who have never taught or actually designed a test before is utterly dubious. ...more
By louse pt. (143), springs on Apr 15, 15 3:42 PM
These tests are not made by people hired by Pearson. Pearson has been administering and grading tests for hundreds of organizations for a long time with never any claim of conspiracy. To use the tests as a way to evaluate teachers is not only fair, it is long overdue. Your opinion of the quality of the construction of the test is not supported by the facts, the tide is not turning and the parents who opted out have made a big mistake. These tests are not going away, Cuomo is not backing down ...more
By TheoM (16), southampton on Apr 19, 15 2:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
The person making 11 dollars an hour is designing a test that the 150k teacher can't teach to students? Wow doesn't say much for teachers. Maybe we can get some of these super smart 11 dollar an hr. people to teach our kids.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Apr 20, 15 5:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
Opting out is a great way to make sure your kid is a fool for life.
By Tree Man (19), Southampton on Apr 16, 15 7:31 PM
My child took the test, and I couldn't be more proud of her. Yes, the system is obviously flawed, but the teachers union can fight this like adults, and not bully the children into fighting for them. The teachers are lobbying the parents (in the halls of the school) to opt out, and are telling the kids that the test isn't fair, because if kids don't do well, the teachers won't get their money. Yes, that's what they told the 3rd graders.
We have a great school, and great teachers, but this ...more
By sparkhampton (27), Hampton Bays on Apr 16, 15 8:30 PM
4 members liked this comment
I am unaware of any teachers who bullied kids into not taking the tests in our local district. Any teachers that did that should be ashamed. The schools have to give the tests. Many parents have started facebook movements against the test void of any teacher advice. Are you aware of the connections between big business, lobbyists and standardized testing? It has little to do with the students at all, and more to do with corporatizing public education. Maybe teachers know what they are talking about, ...more
By louse pt. (143), springs on Apr 16, 15 10:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Not only were teachers coming up with all kinds of creepy ways to persuade families to keep their kids from taking the test but parents of kids who opted out turned the community into the Salem Witch Hunt. You should note that there were no Facebook groups started by families that were taking the test. That's because those families were busy doing what they thought was best for their own children instead of working overtime to collect cohorts for personal affirmation. If you want to opt-out, that's ...more
By TheoM (16), southampton on Apr 19, 15 2:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
Teachers at my sons school didn't try and sway us one way or the other. The Facebook groups I think were more for education and information. It's hard separating truth from myth.
By Polandspring (96), Southampton on Apr 20, 15 7:29 AM
... politicians know it is more politically expedient to take from children than it is to take from adults.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Apr 17, 15 10:00 AM
I'm not sure what you mean by that. What are they taking from the kids exactly?
By louse pt. (143), springs on Apr 17, 15 4:21 PM
NYS Teacher Requirements

High School Diploma
4 Year College Degree
Masters Degree
Student Teaching Apprenticeship
CSE Test
Continued Logged Professional Hours throughout Career to maintain license

Requirements to write the Standardized Test ?s for Pearson that evaluate teachers

-College Degree "Preferred"

By louse pt. (143), springs on Apr 18, 15 11:16 AM
How do you reconcile the fact that a teacher has to pass all of those standardized tests with your stance that kids should not take standardized tests?

How would you reconcile teachers all over NY State -with all of that educational prowess- being totally flummoxed by a test you suggest is written by an uneducated temp on an hourly rate?
By TheoM (16), southampton on Apr 21, 15 6:24 AM
Average worker in the US makes 45k a year, and perform their job or finds their butt in the street. Why do teachers get a pass on wether they are doing their job or not? There are 1,000's of teacher's looking for a job I'm sure they would have no problem being evaluated.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Apr 18, 15 3:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Apr 18, 15 3:43 PM
Teachers do not get a pass on being evaluated. In fact they get evaluated throughout the year. The issue is evaluating them on a poorly designed state test created and developed by a company like Pearson, which is all about big business and little to do about students and education.

In reference to the avg American worker, teachers are actually paid less on avg than most people who have Masters and Post Graduate degrees. And FYI, I don't think the "average" American worker in the Hamptons ...more
By louse pt. (143), springs on Apr 18, 15 10:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Louse I mostly agree with you but they should do away with tenure and the power in a teachers job is not so much the salary as it the perks.
1. Tenure is a shield that should be removed.
2. A teachers makes a pretty decent income, works a limited number of days each year, gets a ridiculous benefits package and an unheard of pension.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Apr 19, 15 12:46 AM
No they don't. Per capita income in Suffolk County is estimated at $35,755.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 20, 15 11:38 PM
LOL yeah in Suffolk county Virginia!!! The average salary for a public school teacher is about 70k. If the teacher has a family of 4 they will get benefits equal to about 30k per year. They will get a pension that requires about 1 million to fund and they will work limited days with the summers off. Not too shabby
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Apr 21, 15 9:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
"And FYI, I don't think the "average" American worker in the Hamptons makes 45K either. "

Reading comprehension isn't your strong suit, is it?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 22, 15 12:27 AM
I can read just fine. Pretty sure you said " no they don't". The correct answer is yes they do.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Apr 22, 15 6:13 AM
Tenure allows a teacher to speak up on issues when districts make decisions that impact students without fear of dismissal. Are there some teachers who hide behind tenure, unfortunately yes, but teachers can be fired. The challenge with evaluating teachers is that they are tied to the performances of students that may possess many negative and uncontrollable variables outside of school, that negatively impact those children's academic performance. The state testing situation is also brutally unfair ...more
By louse pt. (143), springs on Apr 19, 15 6:59 AM
1 member liked this comment
It is almost impossible to fire a teacher if they have tenure and I don't think that's right.
I do agree that they do have a harder job than most people think and don't get as much credit as they deserve. I also agree that pensions for police take the cake but teachers have it pretty good. The public sector needs to get more in line with the private sector in regards to pensions.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Apr 19, 15 10:12 PM
Tenure was not created so that teachers can speak up without fear of dismissal. They aren't working in a Siberian ice factory. Evaluating anyone in any job anywhere will include variables that are out of the control of the person being evaluated. The nonsense has to end. Enough of the arguments about why teachers are special and shouldn't be evaluated. Teachers are not supreme court justices who deserve a job until they are good and ready to retire. The tests are not unfair and it's time to ...more
By TheoM (16), southampton on Apr 21, 15 6:20 AM
I agree that a lot more goes into teaching than just classroom hours , but tenure is ridiculous. As you have stated , it's possible to fire a teacher , possible but not easily accomplished due to the teacher's union.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 19, 15 8:35 AM
I am aware that many people who comment on 27 do not like unions. It is however important to remember why unions were created in this nation in the first place. Unfortunately, throughout history, people have abused employees over money, and various biases including; race, gender, and sexual orientation just to name a few. Unions protect workers rights and ensure that contracts are fairly obligated and compensated. Teaching is one of the few professions where race, gender, and sexual orientation ...more
By louse pt. (143), springs on Apr 19, 15 11:41 AM
It's funny that you're a teacher Louse and don't know why unions were formed. They were formed to eliminare sweat shop conditions, and protect from dangerous conditions. The teacher's union is corrupt pile of crap that had to be rescued by the Afl Cio in the 60's.
In fact Roosevelt said unions that are in the public sector such as cops, and teachers will be full of corruption, and shake down tactics. That is exactly what we have going on extortion of taxpayers. Funny you teach our kids, ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Apr 19, 15 2:59 PM
I believe that I do know why unions were formed. Perhaps my response was too general in stating that throughout history people have abused employees.
I didn't become a teacher to become a member of a union. That thought didn't even enter my mind. I became an educator because it was what I wanted to do for a living. It just so happens that public school teachers become members of unions.
By louse pt. (143), springs on Apr 20, 15 6:49 AM
Teaching is a very noble profession and you should be commended for devoting your life to teaching our youth. I want to add that most people (including myself) despise the teachers unions. It amazes me how they are able to hold the tax payers hostage for salaries and benefits. I am sure throwing politics into the mix doesn't help. If one were to look at how much of your property taxes is spent on education you be upset. What's worse is the percentage of that number that goes to pay salaries ...more
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Apr 20, 15 11:22 PM
The whole concept of public sector unions is just ludicrous. The unions contribute heavily to the Democrat Party who, in return, sets legislation favoring said unions, a quid pro quo . Why not have each teacher negotiate their own compensation package, it works well in the privates sector. The taxpayers are over the barrel whenever there is a teacher's contract negotiated, the compensation will always rise with little concrete evaluation and we get to pay for it.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 20, 15 7:04 AM
1 member liked this comment
well said !
By joe hampton (3461), southampton on Apr 20, 15 9:11 PM
In 1980 M2 was approximately 1.5T dollars. As of this week, it stands at over 11.8T dollars.

Don't shoot the messengers for their compensation. Take your torches and pitchforks, and instead of pointing them at your fellow citizens, take the pointed end of the fork and point it at those responsible for wrecking our economic system and turning us into the next Weimar Republic.

Despise, or hate, or whatever you choose to call it is a negative unproductive state unless taken in ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 20, 15 11:34 PM
YAAAAAWN !! Mr Z , the taxpayers are not a bottomless well where the school districts can go whenever they feel the need, we have been plundered thoroughly and completely, not one penny more!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 21, 15 6:59 AM
Not One Penny !
By joe hampton (3461), southampton on Apr 21, 15 8:59 AM
"Work for the rich love the rich BE the rich"
Aug 15, 12 6:24 AM

Not working out for you these days?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 22, 15 12:39 AM
Seems to be working out just fine for the Clinton's
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Apr 22, 15 7:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
No more Bush and no more Clinton's !
By joe hampton (3461), southampton on Apr 21, 15 9:06 AM
Amen to that !

I'm tired of people saying that Hillary Clinton hasnt done nothing for our country!

Just read this in USA today coments section,

1. The "Bengahzi Butcher" help kill our Americans in Bengahzi while arming our enemies.
2. She showed America how to get disbarred and her law liscense suspended for misconduct, misrepresentation, forgery of legal documents, contempt of court, coercion, witness tampering, and etc.
3. She showed us how to put 5 million dollars ...more
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Apr 21, 15 9:11 AM
to 27dan:

Sweet Jesus, not being content with posting baseless propaganda from discredited Right-Wing news manufactories, you now adduce "comments" from anonymous, internet non-entities in support of your prejudicial delusions!

Your post is a compendium of ignorant, extremist RIght-Wing equine scatology.

(Oh, by the way, Hillary Clinton was never disbarred or suspended as a lawyer. Congratulations on choosing a "commentator" for your corner who is an utter fool. He ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Apr 21, 15 10:32 AM
to highhat,

What the Clinton's have done over the last six years is absolutely sickening. If you abandon this rotten women, now, you would serve your reputation well.
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Apr 21, 15 9:50 PM
Kool Aid my good man, Kool Aid. The PIAPS is a charlatan and a huckster, that's the best that can be said about her.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 21, 15 6:18 PM
The very best
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Apr 21, 15 7:24 PM
The Clinton's long standing habit of taking money from anyone offering it, in exchange for any favor asked, Is finally going to bite them back.

This book will be a best seller. #1 on Amazon
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Apr 21, 15 9:46 PM
.... These are not the emails your looking for
By They call me (2826), southampton on Apr 21, 15 7:43 PM
to Undocumented Democrat & bigfresh & 27dan:

Your delusional misinterpretations of reality remain unsupported by a single FACT. You have traded libels with each other so often and for so long that you have convinced yourselves that your own errant and malicious beliefs are truth.

What you fail to realize is that your repeated prejudicial implications and vile innuendos do naught but display the base immorality of your fanatical ideology. If you want to improve your credibility, ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Apr 22, 15 8:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
haaaaaaaa, Tell us agian about unsuported facts High Hat

On second thought just save it,

All sorts of unproven worst-case-scenario questions float around the web of connections between Bill’s private work, Hillary Clinton’s public role as secretary of State, the Clintons’ quasi-public charity, and Hillary’s noncompliant email system. But the best-case scenario is bad enough: The Clintons have been disorganized and greedy.

The news today about the ...more
By They call me (2826), southampton on Apr 23, 15 7:02 PM
haaaaaaaa, Tell us again about unsupported facts High Hat

On second thought just save it,

The Obama administration wanted Hillary Clinton to use official government email. She didn’t. The Obama administration also demanded that the Clinton Foundation disclose all its donors while she served as Secretary of State. It didn’t comply with that request, either.

The Clintons’ charitable initiatives were a kind of quasi-government run by themselves, which was ...more
By They call me (2826), southampton on Apr 23, 15 7:04 PM
OK, Here is a fact for you High Hat, The country can do better then anointing another Clinton or Bush !
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Apr 22, 15 10:35 AM
2 members liked this comment
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 22, 15 4:55 PM
Any chance you pavlovian dogs could take your political dance somewhere else?
By TheoM (16), southampton on Apr 22, 15 5:22 PM
Whats your beef theo, Dont like hearing about the facts?
By joe hampton (3461), southampton on Apr 22, 15 7:58 PM
You are typing "no more bush and no more clinton" under an article about south fork parents opting their children out of a standardized test. In fact, you are your tourrettes afflicted pals have been volleying your political nonsense in an infinite loop of wasted time for years on this site.

The guy who stands outside of Port Authority and spouts his political beliefs to whoever can hear isn't necessarily lacking in facts, it's just that it's an odd, out of context forum. Does that help?
By TheoM (16), southampton on Apr 23, 15 7:24 AM
1 member liked this comment
Desperate times call for desperate measures... The progressives are trying to "fundamentally transform the country" and the mainstream media is is in the tank. Common core is part of the problem... It is an attempt to nationalize the indoctrination of our children, to homogenize there beliefs and neuter there future dissent of big government control, The constitution is under attack and we the people are the last line of defense
By joe hampton (3461), southampton on Apr 23, 15 8:47 AM
Oh and just for the record and to stay "On topic"

I would let my kids take the math test but opt out of the "Revised history or (America is not exceptional) portion of "common" core as well as the sanitized and PC approved literature portion of the program.
By joe hampton (3461), southampton on Apr 23, 15 10:01 AM
A majority of US voters say Hillary Clinton is not honest or trustworthy according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.
Only 38 percent said they trust the Democratic frontrunner.

The full story: “FOX NEWS REPORTING: THE TANGLED CLINTON WEB” will air on Friday, April 24th at 10PM/ET
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Apr 23, 15 7:16 PM
Keep your powder dry boys, wait awhile longer before you post the facts on Hillary. Its to soon to let the truth destroy her.The progressives will be happy to switch to Warren and that would be ten times worse than President Hillary.

From what I have read there is much more to come on the Clinton's and It is best to be death by a thousand cuts and keep the Left loving media off balance. This election is to important.

Slow and study
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Apr 23, 15 7:43 PM
This from those who would have joined in blackballing Brooksley Born. Warren is just as correct as she was. Get used to it, or you will get busy repeating history.
Apr 24, 15 9:15 PM appended by Mr. Z
Texas Republicans passed a bill to immunize themselves against ethics investigations
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 23, 15 9:15 PM
to They call me:

Thanks for illustrating my point with your latest plagiarism (which is actually ONE article from New York magazine that you have broken into TWO posts [to make it appear that you are capable of maintaining TWO ideas at the same time?])

The article criticizes Bill Clinton for commanding large speaking fees and for taking donations for his charitable organization from entities that have dealings with the government. How, one might ask, does this behavior differ ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Apr 24, 15 10:10 AM
The preceding is an example of " Going down with the ship "
Apr 24, 15 5:14 PM appended by 27dan
Now that the destination is in sight, we ship's passengers are eager for the arrival. When President Obama transfers the authority of his office to Hillary Clinton, We all look forward to Tim's reelection. " By highhatsize, East Quogue on Jul 20, 14 10:52 AM
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Apr 24, 15 5:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
Bill knows all about that
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 24, 15 5:18 PM
How about this BLAST FROM THE PAST,

Bishop would be much better off with Hillary campaigning for him if it were possible,she proved herself as a popular and formidible senator, imo." By philathome Jun 7, 10 7:04 PM

Bwaaaa ha ha
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on Apr 24, 15 5:24 PM
I would just like to take a moment out to say

Good Bye to the Corrupt Racist Eric Holder

And good riddance for sure. Republicans agree that Lynch is qualified for the job ‘probably the most qualified nominee that’s come out of this White House’ so lets see what she does about this uranium pay to play deal that the Clinton's have served up to the Russians on a plater.
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Apr 24, 15 5:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
i read today that hillary must use only international airports due to the fact that smaller air fields cant handle all her baggage
By Erin 27 E (1281), hampton bays on Apr 24, 15 6:05 PM
That's funny!!!
By bird (829), Southampton on Apr 24, 15 6:33 PM
I’m Andrew Klavan and this is the Revolting Truth.

This is the Middle East.

This is the Middle East during the Obama administration.

Some of you may observe these results of Obama’s smart diplomacy and think to yourself, “Whoa, this president’s foreign policy looks like a clown car... full of those evil Stephen King clowns who live in the sewer and say eerie things to children then turn into a gigantic spider and devour them. While laughing maniacally.”

Ah-ha, ...more
By They call me (2826), southampton on Apr 26, 15 9:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
By They call me (2826), southampton on Apr 27, 15 11:22 AM