Students take the New York State 2015 Common Core test...

Students take the New York State 2015 Common Core test in Sag Harbor, Thursday, April 16, 2015. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Newsday asked parents of children in grades three through eight last week to take a short survey about opting out of state tests. Here's how people responded to the invitation to give Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo specific recommendations about the new curriculum and testing.

Reassure me the test is at grade level. Disclose all questions and answers every year. Pearson Education designed flawed tests, and state officials allowed this to continue. Both are ineffective. Why should a teacher lose his or her job based on this system?

Carol Vaughn, Merrick

Editor's note: The writer recently retired from teaching.

Politicians need to give back education to the local towns. Intrusive questions need to be eliminated. Honesty should be the gold standard for our politicians. We read about corruption in the news every day. Home life and parent support are factors in whether a child succeeds.

The governor should stop bullying parents and teachers. Teachers, parents and children are smart enough to know a snow job when it's given to us from politicians with an agenda. Teachers and parents need to be included in test creation. Remove profit, and limit the number of testing days.

Karen Baumann, Smithtown

State tests have value, but when they weigh too heavily on teachers and kids, they ruin learning. My kids deserve better.

Gina Varacchi, Medford

Editor's note: The writer is a teacher.

Eliminate Common Core tests and teaching. There's no reason to teach kids grouping in math. How about teaching them script? These kids won't be able to sign their own W-2 forms or a check, because schools have eliminated emphasis on this skill.

Greg Reeder, Smithtown

Common Core is a garbage set of standards bought and paid for. They're not higher standards, and the curriculum and modules are awful at best. Bring back the prior standards and let our children learn.

Christine Tamke, Islip

Have each district develop a basic proficiency exam that students must pass before entering middle school. Go back to standardized achievement tests that compare students nationally and locally.

Phil Tamberino, South Huntington

Editor's note: The writer is a retired teacher.

School is all about math and English language arts now. Lunches are shorter, recess is shorter, humanities are shorter or eliminated. Kids are receiving double math and ELA, and missing recess to work on math. It's all geared toward scoring better on a test.

Tim Macdowall, Coram

Don't tie teacher evaluations to the tests. I oppose linkage to an Annual Professional Performace Review with a formula for growth that is convoluted and far from transparent. Meaningless tests used as punitive measures for teachers are not the answer to elevating student achievement.

Deborah Buchanan, Massapequa

Editor's note: The writer is a teacher.

The way the tests are administered, there is virtually no way that the results can be used to help the children. The tests are solely designed to be used against teachers.

Dave Trabulsi, Smithtown

Editor's note: The writer is a teacher.

The math and English tests haven't been aligned with the Common Core curriculum in a fair and appropriate way for grades three through eight. The tests are too long, and the passages exceed the appropriate Lexile for each grade. Teachers and administrators often have disagreed on the correct multiple choice answer to a question. The state has essentially put a gag order on all involved to not discuss the tests or questions. The tests don't inform instruction or help improve teacher pedagogy because the data are never returned to teachers.

Barbara Sutton, East Quogue

Editor's note: The writer is an educator.

Stop suspending real learning for months to prepare the kids for "in-the-box" learning.

Ev Mason, Bayville

Editor's note: The writer is a teacher.

Children are not prepared for the Common Core curriculum. It should be rolled out first at the elementary level. Teacher evaluations should not be linked to test scores but to observations and peer review.

Doug Ratner, West Babylon

Editor's note: The writer's wife is an educator.

Common Core math is an unmitigated disaster. This math failed in Russia in the 1970s and produced an entire generation unable to enter science, technology, engineering and math careers. Restore the local diploma. Implement higher and better standards!

Danielle Flora, Islip

Editor's note: The writer is a guidance counselor.

Principals and teachers know what works and what doesn't in their respective communities. Parental involvement in education is absolutely necessary.

Lee Mattes, Bellmore

Editor's note: The writer is a teacher.

The tests should be on grade level. Test scores should not be 50 percent of a teacher's evaluation. Make them 25 percent of the evaluation, have someone besides school administrators contribute 50 percent, and have school administrators' evaluations count 25 percent.

Michael Norrby, Islip Terrace

If we are going to test children on what they know, make the tests age-appropriate. Don't rate a teacher based on the results.

Tiffany Reeder, Smithtown

I believe that the emphasis on these tests is out of control. You should not evaluate a teacher based on state tests. I know my kids are nervous test-takers, and that has an effect on the results.

Elizabeth Biancardi, Bayshore

Stop Common Core: No high-stakes testing, developmentally inappropriate standards, Annual Professional Performance Review or data mining. This is not education; it is corporations making money off our children! New York standards were among the best in the country. Dump all of this mess!

Teresa Baldinucci-Greenberg, Medford

We have seen our young children decline rapidly and thousands lose their love for learning. The curriculum is grossly developmentally and age inappropriate. Save the children, stop Common Core!

Jacqueline Lyon, Medford

Reinstate the old curriculum, and have an independent commission study and make recommendations for curriculum.

Joan Little, Selden

The governor doesn't know much about education. I'd prefer that he stop pushing through laws that interfere with my child's education. Teachers are not the problem. The tests are inappropriate, and there are too many of them.

Robert Martorana, Sea Cliff

Editor's note: The writer is an educator.

Tests should be grade appropriate and created by educators to assess grade standards. Test should not confuse learners, but assess learning.

Kathleen Regan, Hauppauge

Editor's note: The writer is a teacher.

The curriculum leaves a child with a incomplete education. Children are not learning all they need to know. The children feel inadequate trying to make a standard that they cannot reach. The schools need more funding, not more testing.

Terry McGovern, East Islip

Tests must be at grade level, and don't tie them to teacher evaluations. The tests are two years above grade level. It was planned for all students to drop a level or two, to scare everyone into action. Since the testers planned this decline in scores, don't blame the students or teachers.

David Parsick, Port Jefferson

Curriculum must match childhood development. There is no valid construct in which teacher evaluations can be reliably connected to student scores. The most reliable predictor is socioeconomic status.

Lisa Saladino, Deer Park

Editor's note: The writer is a teacher.

Test appropriately. Common Core and its standardized testing obsession are a disaster, an incompetent, bungled mess. They aren't helping children or their teachers.

Mitchell Rubinstein, Roslyn

The Common Core standards are poorly written and entirely inappropriate for early childhood education. Enough is enough. Stand up for our children. Repeal Common Core!

Sandy Martocchia, Greenport

Editor's note: The writer is a former educator.

It's time to get back to authentic learning. If Long Island were a state, we would be at the top of many lists. Great things are happening here.

Michele Sullivan, Ronkonkoma

Assessments are meant to gauge a child's level and help the child improve. This is impossible if teachers and parents are not allowed to see every test question.

Cathy Moonis, Kings Park

Please do not bother administering tests unless and until teachers, students and parents have access to test results within two weeks.

Terri Scofield, Middle Island

Rid the state of experimental standards devoid of early specialist input. Gather teachers, child psychologists and those well-versed in developing successful curriculum. For example, I recommend Sandra Stotsky of the University of Arkansas, an expert in education reform who is a critic of the Common Core.

Valerie DiCaprio, Garden City

As a parent, I value classroom teacher feedback way more than a test score. As a teacher, 50 percent of my score comes from supposedly less than 5 percent of my teaching time, and there were 45 percent opt-outs in my district. You do the math! Plus, the English modules that many districts have adopted and are trying to implement with fidelity have minimal detail, yet they're intended to be a full-time English curriculum. We teach students to be individuals, yet it's a one-size-fits-all test. Lastly, what about the special education students?

Christine Buckley, Huntington

I think the governor should stay the course, make changes that improve Common Core testing and teachers' evaluations. Honest teacher evaluations must be done for the sake of our children.

John H. Simpkins Jr., West Babylon

Editor's note: The writer's wife is a retired teacher.

In Middle Country, we received letters from the PTA that seemed to encourage the opt-out movement. I found that extremely inappropriate. I would assume that school administrators were aware and condoned them. This should not be permitted.

Jennifer Robins, Selden

Editor's note: The writer is a community college instructor.

It's understood that children's skills need to be evaluated, but the entire testing system feels corrupt. We are fortunate to be in a district where everyone was told to just do their best. Our daughter did quite well.

Kerry Gillick-Goldberg, Bethpage

It's important that we have the best-qualified teachers. Whatever objective measurements are used to rate teaching skills, they must be complemented by subjective measurements and observations, as well. Students should not be given the option to opt out of the teacher evaluation process.

Thomas Shipley, North Bellmore

The testing and curriculum are developmentally inappropriate. Standardized tests never have and never will have any value. You cannot measure potential. There can never be a one-size-fits-all method of teaching.

Darla Ramos, Shirley

Editor's note: The writer is a special education/early intervention teacher.

Children should not be tested every year. The state should go back to the old method of testing in fourth and eighth grades. Our high schools on Long Island have been ranked among the best. We don't need the Common Core here.

Dina Bostrom, Garden City

Editor's note: The writer is a teacher.

The governor should continue to stress that 45 to 50 percent of a teacher's evaluation be linked to student test scores. It's imperative that teachers be evaluated more quantitatively by test scores and less subjectively by peer review.

Patrick McGloin, Huntington

Eliminate the tests. They're too long and ambiguous, and the questions and answers are tricky. They're not age or developmentally appropriate and don't assess a teacher's skill. Anyone can "teach to the test," but not all children can "learn for the test."

Myra Kennett, Baldwin

Editor's note: The writer teaches English language learners.

Don't tie tests to teacher evaluations. If you do, education will be filled with math and English Language Arts test prep. Make sure the tests are appropriate. Give detailed results in a timely matter so teachers can use them to improve instruction.

Tracy Zamek, Port Jefferson

Have teachers and principals endorse the standards. Schools, parents and the community must work toward a common education goal. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has taken a divide-and-conquer approach to education that has not only robbed our children of their education, but has weakened the very fabric of our community.

Wendy Levitt, Woodbury

The curriculum should be project-based, which allows for more expansive thinking on subjects. My youngest child is subjected to the current curriculum, which is simply teaching kids how to take a test. I strongly disagree with the current curriculum.

Christine Dyer, Rocky Point

Editor's note: The writer is an educator.

Education used to focus on the whole child. This would make a student career-ready. What made us great was that our people could think on their feet, not simply take tests. We are losing jobs overseas because other people will work for less, but that's unrelated to the school system.

Bob Claps, Hauppauge

Editor's note: The writer is a teacher.

Math should be taught the way we were taught 20 or 30 years ago. A simple math problem should not be eight lines long. It's totally ridiculous. I would say that half of us parents cannot help our children with homework because we don't understand it.

Richard Rando, Elmont

Get rid of the Common Core completely. It's socialistic in nature, and it's child abuse, pure and simple. Just another way for Bill Gates to make a fortune off our children. It's a complete dumbing-down of education.

Mary Goodfellow, Mineola