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High-Stakes Test Boycotts: A School-by-School Breakdown

Standardized tests for third through eighth graders will be canceled again this year if state education officials get their way. Photo: SOMKKU/Shutterstock

Progressive enclaves in Brooklyn and Manhattan are home to schools where many students boycott state tests, but there are also schools from the outer reaches of the Bronx to Brownsville, Brooklyn, with high opt-out rates, new data show.

In all, 4.4 percent of students in the city refused to take at least one of the tests in the 2017-18 school year, a slight uptick from the previous year. Statewide, 18 percent of students opted out. But those averages mask enormous differences between schools.

Not a single student boycotted the exams at 108 city schools that offered the grades 3-8 tests, according to state data obtained through a freedom of information request. One such school is Red Hook Neighborhood School. But just a five minute walk away sits the Brooklyn New School, where more than 96 percent of students boycotted the exams.

High rates of test boycotts typically don’t come with steep consequences for schools, but schools Chancellor Richard Carranza raised concerns that at least two schools were identified as struggling because students sat out the tests. State officials disputed his characterization.

In the searchable database below, you can see your school’s opt-out rate for the state’s reading and math exams administered in 2018.

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization covering public education. Sign up for their newsletters here:


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