Letter to Gloversville parents stirs up controversy

GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS 10) – Controversy is brewing at a local school.

The controversy surrounds a letter that went out to parents of high school juniors.

The letter was meant to clarify things. It explains at least one of those common core exams can’t be opted out of.

“I was quite angry to be notified with only one school day before the exams that there’s no time to dig deeper and find out what’s going on,” parent Stacia Mureness said. “Somebody miscommunicating somewhere; I don’t think it’s right to say that you have to do this or you’re not graduating.”

Except that’s what the state education department says will happen to high school juniors who don’t take the common core English language arts or ELA exam.

Stacia Mureness says she was first alerted to the situation Saturday. That’s when she received this letter from the Gloversville high school principal Richard DeMallie.

Stacia Mureness’ son is a junior at Gloversville High School.

It’s a New York State graduation requirement and parents can’t opt their kids out.

“To have it worded in such a way that he can do whatever he wants and there’s nothing we parents can say,” Mureness said. “And our children are going to be the ones to punished for it. It’s unacceptable.”

“What I did was try to make sure that I sent out a very concise and factual letter to increase the understanding of students sitting the test and taking the exam,” Principal Richard DeMallie said. “We have our current juniors with two years of common core aligned instruction. So that’s summative is the common core regents exam.”

DeMallie explained that he and his staff also had questions and that he received clarification from the state education department last week.

That’s when he sent out the letters.

News 10 also reached out to the state education department. They confirmed DeMaille is right. For juniors, the ELA exam is a Regents and also counts as a final test for the course.

His message to parents like mureness.

“I would ask them to make sure they’re understanding how we’re interpreting our regents exams at the secondary level,” Demaille said.

Mureness says her son will be staying home on Tuesday. The state education department though is also offering the exam in August or next year.

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