In the recent battle over New York education policies, many parents have united with some school personnel to oppose the Common Core tests ["Test boycott urged," News, March 31]. As a parent of two kids, I don't quite understand why many parents do so.

The Common Core tests are more challenging than the previous state tests. The scores will affect a teacher's performance evaluation, but not a student's report card. That's why teachers don't like the tests. Why would parents also oppose them? Are we concerned that the tests will further challenge and pressure our kids?

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Check the latest results from the Program for International Student Assessment. Out of 65 countries, U.S. students ranked 36th in math, 28th in science and 24th in reading.

Even as a superpower, the United States ranked far behind many peers and poor countries. It's certainly nothing to be proud of. We urgently need a significant change in our education system to raise the standards.

Parents, don't get misled. It is time for us to take responsibility and support the teachers and schools to help our kids work harder and play less with electronic devices. Raising students' academic performance is best as a joint effort of both schools and parents!

Guangwei Che, Centereach