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Discontinue the procedure which has come to be known as "sit and stare"

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 STOP SIT AND STARE IN EAST MEADOW
Mr. DeAngelo:
In East Meadow, the number of parents opting to refuse the New York State Assessments is growing. We will no longer be intimidated by your failure to address our concerns and by your implementation of a punitive policy/procedure designed to punish and therefore deter children and parents from refusing these tests.
While you and your building administrators deny this is a “sit and stare” policy, in reality, it is. There will be no alternate room for the children to sit in and there will be no educational activities provided or allowed for them. This includes reading material. The children are to sit at their desks with only the testing materials in front of them for the duration of the test on each of the 6 days of testing. If children are absent on testing days, they will still be presented with the test and made to sit for 15-20 minutes on make-up dates, “in case they decide they want to take the test”. This will be done even though parents have already provided written documentation that they are refusing the tests.
In other words, children will sit despite the fact that their parents have documented they do not consent to test administration. In essence, the school district is negating and undermining the parent’s constitutional right and authority. Imagine a parent refusing to give consent for his/her child to go on a certain field trip, or play a sport, and then the school taking the child aside in an attempt to undermine the parent’s decision. This is not acceptable. When a parent has already told the school in writing that consent is not given for a child to participate in a specific activity, is it ever ok, for a district to undermine the authority of a parent? Is it ever ok for teachers to ask a child to do something knowing full well they are asking that child to disobey his/her parents? Of course not! The school is liable for the child and cannot engage the child in activities against his/her parent’s wishes. In the case of a field trip not consented to, the school would be forced to find an alternative location and activity for the child that day. Why is this not the same case for state test days? Simply stated, because you, our superintendent, and the Board of Education, the people charged with doing what is best for our children’s education, seek to make refusal as difficult as possible for East Meadow families. This may have worked in the past, but it will not continue to work any longer. Our numbers are growing and we are not going away. We will continue to fight for the education and the treatment that East Meadow children and their families deserve. We hope you will work with us and not against us.

As you know, Long Island is currently leading the nation in a movement to save public education. As families exercise their rights to refuse controversial annual Common Core testing for their children, surrounding school districts are respecting the rights of citizens to make these important decisions. Unfortunately, the East Meadow School District is currently an exception. We will not accept this any longer. The citizens here want to be innovators and up standers. We will no longer stand by and allow our children’s education to slip away, while they are subjected to a punitive procedure with no sound evidence to support it. Our superintendent should lead us in this mission.
We have many supporters willing to help us protect the rights of the children, families and teachers in East Meadow. Do what’s right and discontinue sit and stare in East Meadow.

Respectfully,

Concerned Parents of East Meadow



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