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Letter: Test-takers showed anguish and stress

Scores for Long Island students in grades three

Scores for Long Island students in grades three through eight who took the Common Core state exams in the spring of 2015 rose modestly this year compared to last, according to the New York State Education Department. Look up scores by district here. But that only tells part of the story. Long Island also had more than 46 percent of eligible students refuse to take state tests -- far higher than the state average -- according to Newsday's reporting. Look up opt-out rates for local districts here Photo Credit: NEWSDAY / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

I applaud parents who chose to have their children opt out of the English Language Arts exam [“Errors in test booklets,” News, April 11].

I’m a retired elementary school teacher and literacy coach, but I still work part time in New York City. I proctored the ELA test for fourth-graders. I wish those who sit in lofty places and think this test necessary could have seen the anguish and stress on the faces of the children.

Unlike previous years, when the test was timed but modified for students in need, this year it was untimed for all. If students were engaged, they were able to keep their papers. For many, this worked to their advantage, but for others it was a disaster.

Because the reading passages were long and the questions were three pages later, students had to constantly turn back and forth. For students with reading disabilities, this was a nightmare. Students who come to school not speaking English are exempt from taking the standardized tests for only one year. After that, they have to be able to comprehend and be savvy enough to participate.

Gail Cener, Rockville Centre