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Westchester County Exec Astorino Shares Why His Kids Will Opt Out

Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will allow his children to opt out of testing and he believes students deserve better than the Common Core testing system.

Today, Sheila and I join more than 100,000 parents across New York in opting our children out of the Common Core tests, as is our right.

Our kids deserve better than Common Core, an experiment conceived in secrecy with no public hearings or testing. There are no consequences for opting out. The scores will not affect student records.

We support higher standards for our kids, but that's not Common Core, despite what we've often been told.

The standards are of "poor quality." Those aren't my words; those are the words of the math and English language arts content experts on the validation committee. But their concerns were expunged from the final record.

Also ignored are experts' concerns that:

  • The standards are developmentally inappropriate in the early grades.
  • No K-12 teachers were involved in writing the standards.
  • High-stakes testing as the sole assessment for both student and teacher performance is both unfair and wrong.

I share these concerns, as well as the concern this is education policy guided at the federal level and not the local level as historically has been the case.

As parental concerns and frustrations continue to fall on deaf ears, the numbers opting out of the tests will continue to grow.

The governor, legislature, education commissioner, and board of regents must restore local control of our schools. Common Core needs to be replaced with better standards developed with input from teachers and parents and vetted and tested in a fully transparent process.

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