State test opt-out rates dip regionally Statewide percentage has risen slightly Zachary Matson | March 31, 2017
The percentage of Capital Region students who refused to take state English language arts tests this week appeared to dip compared with the previous two years, even as thousands of families remain unsold by changes state education officials have made to the contentious exams.
With 30 districts from across region reporting their opt-out rates over the course of last week , all but three saw lower percentages of students opt out than in the previous year. (The opt-out rates are reported by the state Education Department annually, and the preliminary results of this years tests could be revised, after verification by state officials.)
The Capital Region opt-out rates also dipped last year in many places, but the state as a whole saw increases, thanks to a big jump in Long Island districts' rates. Last week, more than half of Long Island students -- roughly the same as in 2016 -- refused the state tests, according to Newsday reports.
Schoharie saw its opt-out rate increase from 15 percent last year to 18 percent this year, while Saratoga Springs and Stillwater both held steady at 17 percent.
In an effort to improve participation in the tests, state officials last year eliminated the time limit for taking them and reduced slightly the number of questions. They have also undertaken a revision of the controversial education standards that underpin the tests. ELA Opt Out Rates