CORTLAND, N.Y. – The New York State Education Department released figures Wednesday showing the percentage of students in school districts who refused to take state exams in 2015.
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According to the data, about 20 percent of students in grades 3-8 refused to take state-administered english and math exams this year.
Earlier this year, many parents refused to have their students take the tests as part of a growing movement against Common Core testing.
New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said state officials saw a "significant increase" this year in the number of students refusing the annual assessments.
“We must do more to ensure that our parents and teachers understand the value and importance of these tests for our children’s education," Tisch said in a press release Wednesday. "Without an annual testing program, the progress of our neediest students may be ignored or forgotten, leaving these students to fall further behind. This cannot happen.”
The numbers released Wednesday also show an increasing number of students in school districts in Cortland County that choose to opt out of state testing.
Of the five school districts in Cortland County, the Cincinattus Central School District had the highest percentage of students who opted out: 56 percent of students refused to take the math exams, while 47 percent declined to take the ELA exams, according to the state.
Steven Hubbard, superintendent of Cincinnatus schools, said Wednesday he strongly encourages parents to have their children take the tests.
"It helps us ascertain where we believe the children are in terms of what we believe they know and what we believe they need to understand to show a success rate in the future," Hubbard said.
Hubbard said he respects parents who decide to have their children opt out of state testing.
"The parents have always told us it has nothing to do with the district," Hubbard said. "They believe they have a good school, but they don't believe the tests are proving to be what they intended to be."
Here are the percentages of students in Cortland County who opted out of state testing, broken down by school district:
Cincinnatus Central Schools
Percentage of students who refused math: 56%
Percentage of students who refused ELA: 47%
Cortland City School District
Percentage of students who refused math: 37%
Percentage of students who refused ELA: 27%
Homer Central School District
Percentage of students who refused math: 30%
Percentage of students who refused ELA: 23%
Marathon Central School District
Percentage of students who refused math: 20%
Percentage of students who refused ELA: 17%
Mcgraw School District
Percentage of students who refused math: 25%
Percentage of students who refused ELA: 16%
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