Parents stage 'Great American Opt Out' at Comsewogue High School ahead of Common Core exams

Parents gathered at Comsewogue High School in Port Jefferson Station on Saturday to spread the word that students can opt out of taking the controversial Common Core exams. (3/29/14)

PORT JEFFERSON STATION - Parents gathered at Comsewogue High School in Port Jefferson Station on Saturday for a rally to spread the word that students can opt out of taking the controversial Common Core exams.

The demonstration was called the "Great American Opt Out," and it was hosted by an organization called iRefuse. It came just days before students will take the English language arts exams, which begin April 1. Standardized math tests will follow.

Teresa Baldinucci-Greenberg is among a growing number of Long Island parents who don't want their children taking the Common Core standardized tests. "I talk to other friends in my community, and their kids aren't sleeping at night," she said. "They're having stomach issues, anxiety issues, they don't want to go to school anymore. These are children who were high-performing students who are totally anxiety ridden because of this need to perform, perform, perform for these tests."

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Comsewogue Superintendent Dr. Joe Rella says he fully supports parents in his district who have opted out.  He says he believes the Common Core curriculum isn't working and needs to be re-examined by education officials. "I believe anything can be fixed," Rella said, "but that requires two parties to dialogue, and there has been no willingness of the state Education Department to do that."

News 12's calls to the state Department of Education for comment have not yet been returned.

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