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Long IslandEducation

Survey shows 49.1 percent on LI opted out of taking ELA test

Nearly 92,000 students in grades three through eight refused to take the test in 115 of the region’s 124 districts that responded to Newsday’s query.

Students who opted out of taking the state

Students who opted out of taking the state English Language Arts test at Michael Stokes Elementary School, in the Island Trees district in Levittown, read in the cafeteria on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

At least 91,974 students across Long Island in grades three through eight refused to take the state English Language Arts test, according to a Newsday survey that drew responses from 115 of the region’s 124 public school districts last week and on Monday.

That translates to 49.1 percent of the 187,419 students in the responding districts who were eligible to take the exam.

In Nassau County, 35,535 of 87,278 eligible students in the 115 districts, or 40.7 percent, opted out of the ELA. In Suffolk, 56,439 of 100,141 eligible students in those systems, or 56.4 percent, refused to take the test.

Nine districts did not respond to the survey or refused to provide figures. The Sagaponack district did not provide data because the system’s small school population could result in inadvertent identification of children.

Among those not responding were Plainedge and Rocky Point, which last year had opt-outs that topped 75 percent, according to figures those districts provided in last year’s survey. Other systems that did not respond, such as Copiague, Elmont and Sag Harbor, last year reported refusal rates of 25 percent or less.

Newsday’s 2017 survey ultimately included 116 districts, and the overall percentage of opt-outs was 51.2 percent.

Tuesday marks the final day of possible ELA test-taking in the state, with the exam to be given over two consecutive days of a district’s choosing.

The state-designated time frame for administration of the traditional paper-based test was last Wednesday through Friday. The computer-based test could be given from April 10 through Tuesday.

Next up for students in grades three through eight is the state math exam, also to be given over two consecutive days that are chosen by local districts.

The state-designated time frames for the math test are May 1 through May 3 for the paper-based exam and May 1 through May 8 for the computer-based test.

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