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NY State Students Begin Math Portion Of Common Core Exams

LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- After seeing thousands of students sit out New York's statewide English assessments last week, school districts are beginning three days of math testing.

New York's 700 districts are required to give the Common Core-aligned tests to students in grades three through eight from Wednesday through Friday. The scores don't count toward student grades, but they are factored into teacher and school rankings.

The tests face criticism from parents who say students are tested too much and teachers who say they stifle creativity and aren't a fair reflection of their teaching skills.

NY State Students Begin Math Portion Of Common Core Exams

In Lindenhurst, fifth-grader Timothy Vine said most of his classmates aren't taking the math test.

"Three kids are taking it in my class," said the 11-year-old, who was kept home Wednesday.

His mother, Tory Vine, said more than 60 percent of children in the district opted out of the English test and expects the math opt-outs to be even higher.

"We're hoping for a lot more, but a few more would be great just to show that it's continuing," she told 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera. "Parents are educating themselves that this is wrong. It's wrong for our schools. It's wrong for our kids. It's wrong for parents."

An activist group that has been tallying opt-out numbers from last week's English tests says 185,000 students refused to take the tests, based on reports from 73 percent of districts.

The New York State United Teachers union has called for a boycott over concerns that test scores will be linked to teacher evaluations. The Legislature recently approved a stricter teacher evaluation system in which test scores can account for 50 percent of the performance reviews.

But state education officials warn that opting out will skew data that tracks progress with the Common Core and some districts could lose good standing and federal aid.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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