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Elected officials calling for students to "opt out" of state tests

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

State Senator Marc Panepinto returned to his roots in the Ken-Ton school district Monday to push for opting out of today's ELA tests.

Panepinto is also calling for changes in the law to return schools to education and not the "teaching to the test." The Buffalo Democrat says his eighth grade daughter won't be taking the English test at City Honors.  Assemblyman Ray Walter says his eighth grade son won't be either at his school.

Ken-Ton Trustee Jill O'Malley opposes kids' scores being used to evaluate teachers.

"I don't want $20,000 rewards tied to my child's test score. I don't want 50 percent of the teacher score, as Regents Cashin pointed out, we're not even sure these tests can be used for that purpose," O'Malley said.

"They weren't created for teacher evaluations. I strongly encourage everybody to become informed and try to understand what's involved with these tests. It's a dangerous precedent."

Assemblyman Mickey Kearns says long-time test opponent and West Seneca Superintendent Mark Crawford told him he expected 60 percent of that district to refuse to take today's test. Walter says some legislators are looking at legislation to change the whole system and ease the stress on kids.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.