100,000 LI students expected to opt out of Common Core testing

Common Core opponents expected about 100,000 Long Island students to opt out during the second day of testing Tuesday. Common Core opponents expected about 100,000 Long Island students to opt out during the second day of testing Tuesday.
WOODBURY -

Common Core opponents expected about 100,000 Long Island students to opt out during the second day of testing Tuesday.

While the tests are standardized by the state, each district handles opt-outs differently.

Outraged parents in Freeport say they sent letters telling the district their kids would opt out weeks ago, but did not hear back until Monday. That's when district officials sent a reply saying their kids had no right to opt out and would have to verbally refuse to take the test after it is put in front of them.

"You're now taking a child and telling them the decision of an adult, when they don't have the capacity to do that," says parent Howard Colton. "That in my book is blatantly illegal."

Freeport says it's been using the same letter and procedure for the past few years and that they are in compliance with state requirements.

According to the state Education Department, there is no standard on how districts have to handle refusals, leaving it up to each individual district.

News 12 obtained letters from a few different districts.

Smithtown School District wrote to parents who sent in refusals, saying "The district will respect your decision."

Bellmore-Merrick emailed parents saying that they are committed to an environment that "respects the rights of all children and parents."

In Manhasset, students that refused the test were asked to come in after it was over.

The state Education Department says it's up to parents to decide if their children should take the tests. News 12 is still waiting for an answer as to why there are no statewide standards for test refusals.

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