State Common Core testing begins as local leaders push for more to opt-in

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Tuesday is decision day for local parents about whether their students should take this year’s Common Core tests, and some of Buffalo’s leading educational voices are planning to lay out the reasons they think more students should opt in.

Last year, about one in five eligible students in the state did not take the tests, and some of our local districts had some of the highest opt out rates in the state. Seventy percent of students in West Seneca did not take the tests.

But, state education officials are hoping changes to the tests will be enough to get more students taking them. Among those changes, the tests are now shorter, the questions were selected by teachers, and students will have unlimited time to finish as long as they continue to work productively. There has also been a temporary moratorium from the state on using the test results for teacher evaluations.

Tuesday morning, former New York State Schools Chancellor Robert Bennett, Sam Radford of the Buffalo District Parent Coordinating Council, other parents, and members of High Achievement New York will hold a meeting at the District Parent Coordinating Council office on Fillmore to urge parents to opt their children into this year’s exams, supporting the new and improved state assessments.

That news conference begins at 11:15 a.m.

Common Core testing begins Tuesday for students in grades 3-8 with English language arts assessments. The math testing will be done next week. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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