Thousands of NYC parents opt students out of annual state tests

Standardized testing is back for 2021, but thousands of New York students aren’t going to be taking them.
The Department of Education says schools nationwide were allowed to skip state-run tests in 2020 due to the pandemic, but the tests are back this year.
Parents are still choosing to have their children opt out of taking the tests.
Bronx mother Bonnie Massey says the tests set students up to fail and they are not what children need while schools are being interrupted.
Brooklyn mother of two and special education advocate Paulette Healy says her daughter’s self-esteem fell after scoring low on state tests despite getting good grades.
Healy says she worked double-time to get her daughter a tutor and put her into test prep. She opted her children out after seeing the tests.
“The questions were misleading and confusing,” Healey says. “It really wasn’t a true reflection of what she knew and what she was capable of.”
Members of teacher advocate groups like Paula White, of Educators 4 Excellence, say standardized testing is not all bad.
“We want to be able to see, especially in an impactful year like this, what is the impact of all of the education disruptions that we have to have,” White says.
White says other factors such as teacher feedback should also be used to determine a student’s progress.
The DOE says students who opt out of state tests will not be penalized.