The department added that if fewer than 95 percent of children in a district take part in the tests, the district will fail to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress — a designation that a district has met the state’s academic standards. Districts that fail to earn that designation could potentially have their Title I funding affected, and could also face intervention by the state.
With such a low percentage of students refusing the tests, however, East Meadow is not at risk of losing that designation.
Why they refused
Ilene Ballato said the decision to refuse to take the tests was a mutual one she and her two sons made. Her youngest is a fourth-grader at Barnum Woods Elementary School and her oldest is a seventh-grader at Woodland. One of them is a special-education student who has a major speech and language impairment, Ballato said.
She said she grew discouraged after examining the sample test-preparation materials, which are sent to students prior to the tests. “I don’t even want to say [the tests] would have been difficult for him,” she said. “It would have been impossible for him, based on the way the questions were worded.”