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Long IslandEducation

Common Core ELA exam opt outs hit 89,000 on Long Island

Sixth-grade students who opted out of the ELA

Sixth-grade students who opted out of the ELA state test work on studies at Saxton Middle School in Patchogue on April 5, 2016. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Basinger

The number of students on Long Island in grades three through eight who refused to take the state English language arts exam this week topped 89,000, according to a Newsday survey that brought responses from 108 of the Island’s 124 public school districts.

The updated totals from all responding districts showed that 89,036 students of 172,410 eligible to take the exam — 51.6 percent — opted out of the test.

The newspaper’s survey at the same time last year, with responses from 110 districts across Nassau and Suffolk counties, found that 71,764 of 168,636 eligible students, or 42.6 percent, sat out the test.

The revised totals from administration of this week’s English test, known as the ELA, reflect the inclusion of figures from Babylon and Hampton Bays — districts that responded on Friday — and updated numbers from the Connetquot, Lynbrook and Middle Country school systems, which had submitted data earlier.

Here are the figures from each of those districts:

  • Babylon: Students eligible to take the test, 719; students who refused, 476; refusal percentage, 66.2.
  • Connetquot: Eligible, 2,735; refused, 2,044; percentage, 74.7.
  • Hampton Bays: Eligible, 937; refused, 341; percentage, 36.4.
  • Lynbrook: Eligible, 1,298; refused, 823; percentage, 63.4.
  • Middle Country: Eligible, 4,342; refused, 3,194; percentage, 73.6.

Districts that did not respond to Newsday’s survey were Copiague, Deer Park, Farmingdale, Fire Island, Franklin Square, Hempstead, Mineola, North Babylon, Plainedge, Sewanhaka, South Country, Uniondale, Valley Stream 13, West Babylon and Wyandanch.

The Sagaponack district declined to provide data because the system’s small school population would result in inadvertent identification of children.

The state math exam in grades three through eight is scheduled next week for Wednesday through Friday.

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