When Nicco Ferrara's teacher put an English standardized test in front of him Thursday, he simply put it at the corner of his desk. He said half his class at Dobbs Ferry Middle School didn't take the test, either.
This week, about 25 percent of the 4th to 8th graders in the state will take what is called a field test. It's doesn't count for anything, but is used by the testing company, Pearson, to try out questions before they're used in real exams.
"When you have a test where the data isn't shared it the school and not used for instruction, it's a waste of time for the children," said Lisa Ferrara, Nicco's mother. "I don't think it's fair."
Across the state, students from 61 schools have reportedly boycotted these tests so far. Some of those families protested in front of Pearson's midtown offices Thursday morning.
It is not clear how many students have actually not taken the test, but nearby Hastings-on-Hudson School District reported that almost half of their 6th grade students refused to take the math test on Wednesday.
Pearson, the testing company, referred our call to the state's Department of Education, which said it tries to minimize the impact of field testing by using one 40-minute test and only allowing two grades in each school to be tested.
"It's the best way to come up with an accurate assessment to measure student progress," said Dennis Tompkins of the Education Department. The department also said field tests wouldn't be necessary if Pearson could embed their try-out questions on the real exams. The problem with that is there is just not enough money.
The state doesn't believe enough kids will boycott to change to results of the exams. But parents hope there will be enough to make their point.