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Half of Students in Western New York Opt Out of Assessments

Thousands of students have refused to take state standardized tests Tuesday in the Buffalo Niagara region, the first day of English Language Arts tests given to third through eighth graders across New York State this week.

The number of students refusing to participate is expected to grow significantly over the 60,000 statewide who refused to take the tests last year.

The rate reached 70 percent Tuesday in the West Seneca School District, where 2,074 of 2,976 eligible students refused testing. Rates at individual schools ranged from 50 percent at Northwood Elementary School to 83 percent at Allendale Elementary.

Last year, the district-wide refusal rate in West Seneca was approximately 30 percent.