Most students in grades 3 through 8 are taking the state required English Language Arts standardized tests this week, but some parents have chosen to have their child “opt out,” or not take the test.

Penn Yan Centeral School Superintendent Howard Dennis says about 50 students in the district will not be taking the tests, which means the district will not meet the required participation rate of 95 percent. “Typically if this happens, districts are required to spend time, energy, and funds creating an improvement plan. This will just distract us from the important work we are trying to do,” he explains.

Nearby, at Marcus Whitman, 161 students will not be taking the assessment there, reports Superintendent Jeramy Clingerman, and in Dundee, 10 students had opted out as of Monday, according to Superintendent Kelly Houck.

In all three districts, students who are not taking the test, will be allowed to read quietly.

For more about the effort to send a message to New York State Department of Education by opting out of standardized testing, visit