WOODBURY - If early indications are accurate, large numbers of parents are again choosing to opt their kids out of the controversial Common Core state tests.
Thursday was the final day of state English language arts exams for students across the Island and New York.
In dozens of districts, more than half the students opted out of the tests, according to unofficial numbers collected by the Long Island Opt Out organization. Some of the highest numbers so far were in Rocky Point, Plainedge and Connetquot.
"Opting out is a real strong statement about how you feel about the whole system that's happening. The parents are speaking very loud and clear that this is not what they want for their children," says Jeannette Deutermann, of Long Island Opt Out.
In the Comsewogue School District, Superintendent Dr. Joseph Rella told News 12 that he had 86 percent of the eligible children not take this week's ELA exams. He's expecting the numbers to be even higher next week for math.
"Parents are not having it and they're not going to be swayed by a publicity campaign that says everything is changed, everything is better. It's not. It's pretty much the same," he says.
A spokesperson for the state Education Department told News 12 that the decision of whether a student should take the tests is up to the parents.
State education officials say they want to make sure people have the right information to make that decision, and that's why News 12 was told that the commissioner will continue to talk about what she says are state improvements and why they say the exams are important.