Lawmakers Launch New Online Petition Drive

Assembly members Tedisco, Graf, Murray & Ra start petition to give parents a voice to refuse to have their children participate in Common Core standardized tests


Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville), Assemblyman Al Graf (R,C,I-Holbrook), Assemblyman Dean Murray (R,C,I-East Patchogue) and Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square), today took their efforts to the next level to inform parents of their rights to have their children refuse to take the Common Core standardized tests by launching a new statewide petition drive:


The online website offers New Yorkers the ability to write a message directly to the Governor to respect the rights of parents to make important decisions on the educational future of their children and enable parents to have their children refuse to take the high stakes Common Core-based standardized tests. Citizens will be able to share the petition via social media on Facebook and Twitter.


Tedisco, Graf, Murray and Ra are sponsoring the “Common Core Parental Refusal Act” (A.6025/S.4161) to require that school districts notify parents of their rights to refuse to have their children in grades 3-8 participate in the Common Core standardized tests. The legislation has Republican and Democratic sponsors in both houses of the legislature. 

The bill protects schools from having state aid withheld and teachers from being penalized due to a lack of student participation or performance on the exams.  It also ensures students are not punished or rewarded for their participation or lack thereof in the exams and would set-aside alternate study activities for those who refuse the tests so they are not forced to “sit and stare” in the same room as their peers who are taking the tests.


“Let’s stop the test-a-thon madness and allow teachers to teach and students to get back to learning.  We’re not opposed to higher standards and some standardized testing as long as it’s integrated holistically into a school’s curriculum with input from teachers, administrators and parents and takes into account a myriad of factors that influence how children learn. What’s taking place now is the overutilization of Common Core standardized tests that seem only to measure how well students take the tests. gives parents an opportunity to make their voices heard at the highest levels of our state government how these tests are impacting their children,” said Tedisco, a former public school teacher and the prime sponsor of the Common Core Parental Refusal Act.


“Parents continue to send a strong message to their state representatives that our state is headed in the wrong direction when it comes to their children’s education.  The 'Opt-Out movement' is growing by leaps and bounds through the frustration on the part of parents and students that their elected officials refuse to listen to them. They had better start paying attention,” said Graf.


“It is imperative that parents and children alike know that they are still in control. This is an excellent way to teach children that when they and their parents know that something is not good for them, they have the power to say no without fear of punishment or reprisal,” said Murray.


“Parents should know their rights when it comes to their child’s participation in the Common Core curriculum. Our legislation provides that the parents of New York students do, in fact, have a say when it comes to the meaningful decisions regarding their children’s education. Moreover, it is important to ensure that information regarding refusals is provided and that our local districts, teachers and students are protected from any reprisal from the state for providing this information and allowing parents to decide to opt-out,” said Ra.