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Nearly half of Worcester students opt-out of testing

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Albany/HV: Nearly half of Worcester students opt-out of testing
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Schools are dealing with the after-effects of students opting out of the mandated common core testing. None more so than in Worcester, where 46 percent of students did not take the tests. Barry Wygel has the story.

WORCESTER, N.Y. -- The federal government says schools must have 95 percent of their students take mandated tests. But what happens when a school fails to meet that threshold? That's a question Worcester Superintendent Bill Diamond is looking to answer.

"Just yesterday, we received a little more guidance from the state on the 95 percent, and it doesn't appear that the threat of any real damage or harm coming will come through," said Bill Diamond, Worcester superintendent.

Forty-six percent of Worcester's students decided to opt out of the testing after a Facebook group went viral within the small community.

"That was just our last resort, to say stop. Albany needs to slow down, think of something else, help the teachers out too," said Stacey Serdy, a parent in the district.

Now while the state hasn't specifically laid down penalties for schools failing to meet the 95 percent requirements, there are some federal ramifications. Some federal funding might be in jeopardy, and the school won't be able to compare their scores against others in the area or across the state.

"There really isn't a way to forecast the impact. We just have to focus on we still have kids in school, whether they take the state assessment or not, we are working every day to move them along," said Diamond.

Serdy is running unopposed for a Board of Education seat this May and says for her, the fight is far from over.

"We are going to keep going with this. Our efforts are not going to slow down," said Serdy.

Once on the board Serdy says she will fight for a resolution calling for the state to implement a three-year moratorium on the Common Core testing.

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