YORKTOWN, N.Y. - About 42 percent of students in the Lakeland Central School District and 32 percent in the Yorktown Central School District were opted out of English language arts (ELA) state tests by their parents between Tuesday and Thursday last week.

Of the 2,604 students eligible in Lakeland, 1,104 did not take the tests, according to figures provided by the district. In Yorktown, 497 of the 1,554 eligible students refused the tests. The total breakdown of students not taking the tests is below:

Lakeland Central School District

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  • Grade 3: 126 (31 percent)
  • Grade 4: 149 (39 percent)
  • Grade 5: 182 (43 percent)
  • Grade 6: 175 (39 percent)
  • Grade 7: 248 (51 percent)
  • Grade 8: 224 (55 percent)
  • District: 1,104 (42.4 percent)

Yorktown Central School District

  • Grade 3: 59 (23 percent)
  • Grade 4: 51 (21 percent)
  • Grade 5: 73 (28 percent)
  • Grade 6: 97 (36 percent)
  • Grade 7: 88 (37 percent)
  • Grade 8: 129 (44 percent)
  • District: 497 (32 percent)

Last year, about 30 percent of students in Lakeland and 28 percent in Yorktown refused the ELA tests.

State Sen. Terrence Murphy, whose children attend Yorktown schools, chose to opt them out of the tests. Explaining his decision, Murphy said: “There is clearly more work that needs to be addressed as we repair the damage caused by Common Core. Until we fully implement the recommendations of last year’s Common Core Task Force, I do not believe it is fair for any child or teacher to have such emphasis placed on exams that are only used to fulfill federal requirements.”

In December, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that: “After listening to thousands of parents, educators and students, the Task Force has made important recommendations that include overhauling the Common Core, adopting new locally-designed high quality New York standards, and greatly reducing testing and testing anxiety for our students.”

The state math tests are scheduled to be administered between Wednesday and Friday of this week.