Survey: New Yorkers Support Annual State Assessments, “Unfair” Not To Score Those Who Opt Out


NEW YORK, NY – With State Grade 3-8 annual tests for over 1 million students taking place next month, residents across New York showed their overwhelming support for those assessments, while believing that it is unfair not to score students who opt out, according to a new statewide survey of 401 respondents from High Achievement New York today.

At the same time, widespread misunderstandings about annual state testing process and the tests themselves continue. New Yorkers believe that students spend far more time than they actually do preparing and taking the tests. They also fail to understand the significant role that teachers play in developing and reviewing the test questions and materials.


  • New York parents continue to show overwhelming support for annual assessments by a response of 60.6 percent to 21.95 percent.
  • By nearly two-to-one, parents believe it is unfair for students who opt out to not be scored.
  • Almost 40 percent of parents incorrectly believe students spend more than 15 percent of school year on the annual tests. State law requires that students may only spend less than 1 percent of academic time on annual assessments, and less than 2 percent of school time preparing for those assessments.
  • Few parents understand that teachers actually write and review the assessments. In fact, just 13 percent know the role teachers play in the preparation and drafting of the tests.
  • Overall support for high academic standards generally remains well over 80 percent, while New York’s Next Generation Standards have support at a rate of nearly 3 to 1.

“Parents want their kids to grow up and have skills that are relevant for their future success,” said Kim Namkoong, Co-President of Parents for Excellence in Bethlehem. “Parents overwhelmingly support state assessments as a key tool to help students reach that goal. It’s clear that – across the state of New York – parents believe that kids should say yes to the test.”

“When the state first implemented state assessments, parents had legitimate concerns,” said Sebrone Johnson Senior Director, Innovation, Facilities and Special Projects of the Urban League of Rochester. “This survey demonstrates that not only has the state taken steps to address these concerns, but families – especially in minority communities – are reaping the rewards. The result is a system that will help us track student achievement and work toward finally providing children in every community with a fair shot at a great education.”

“New Yorkers clearly support assessments as a powerful tool for measuring student progress – helping teachers understand and close achievement gaps,” said Stephen Sigmund, Executive Director of High Achievement New York. “They also believe that all students who are supposed to take the tests should be treated equally. At the same time, state education leaders must do a better job of continuing to educate parents about the facts around the annual tests, including how little academic time they take and the vital role of teachers in developing questions.”


The online survey was conducted of 401 New York residents between February 26 and March 12, 2018 using The sample was representative of a wide demographic of respondents, including 48.13% men and 51.87% women, all over the age of 18. The full survey and a demographic breakdown can be seen here:


High Achievement New York provides New York parents, teachers, business and community leaders with an organized platform to support college and career ready standards and promote more equitable outcomes for all New York State children. To ensure educational fairness statewide, HANY provides community and educator driven solutions to issues that arise as higher standards and aligned assessments are implemented into local schools.

Coalition members include: Albany Colonie Chamber of Commerce, America Achieves, America Achieves New York Educator Voice Fellowship, American Association of University Women – New York, Association for a Better New York, Bethlehem Parents for Excellence, Buffalo ReformEd, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Buffalo Urban League, Business Council of New York State, Business Council of Westchester, Center for American Progress, Committee for Hispanic Families and Children, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, Council For a Strong America, District Parent Coordinating Council of Buffalo, The Education Trust – New York, Educators 4 Excellence, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, The Hispanic Federation, Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier, National Council of La Raza, New York Campaign for Achievement Now, New York Urban League, Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, Partnership for Inner-City Education, Parent Power Project-Rochester, Printing Industries Alliance, StudentsFirstNY, Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, Urban League of Rochester, and Urban League of Westchester.