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New York Parent Group Aims to Boost Number of Students Boycotting State Tests

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A parent-advocacy group, New York State Allies for Public Education, is mounting a coordinated campaign to increase the number of students who opt out of state testing next year.

The group, which has been a staunch critic of standardized testing and student data collection, announced this week that it hopes to encourage the parents of 250,000 students to boycott New York state tests in 2015. 

In a news release, New York State Allies for Public Education lays out an action plan to increase the number of students opting out. Among the ideas are hosting informational forums, identifying parent liaisons in school districts to coordinate test boycotts, and disseminating information about opting out using flyers, lawn signs and bumper stickers.

In addition to these grassroots efforts, the parent-advocacy group will wage a "tactical campaign" as well, targeting both state and federal legislators for their support to end the high-stakes nature of standardized testing, Chris Cerrone, a parent and Springville-Griffith Institute Central School District Board Member, said in the release.

"As state and federal legislators see a substantial increase in test refusals, they will be forced to act or be voted out," Cerrone said.

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