(WROC-TV/WSYR-TV) -- The state's largest teachers union is encouraging supporters to sign a petition urging state officials to stop high stakes testing.
Parents are backing teacher union leaders in saying enough-is-enough when it comes to new standardized tests on the common core standards.
"From a parent's point of view we just see our children being subjected to a great deal of pressure," explained Santosha Kuykendall, whose daughter attends a school in the Rochester City School District, "and they're being asked to do something that's virtually impossible."
New York State United Teachers has launched a campaign against the testing and they're asking parents to join in.
Teachers say they don't have the resources to prepare students for the tests and they could lose their jobs if students don't meet the standards. Parents fear that will push good educators out of the district.
"I've heard teachers in the city school district say that one of the things they're looking at is trying to move into the suburban schools so they can get away from the pressure to do the impossible," said Kuykendall, "and so I think it's hard for parents to watch teachers that are really, really good teachers say we just can't take the pressure anymore."
John Pavone of the Rochester Teachers Association added, "If the state ed department continues to do this and they don't back off on this they are going to wind up potentially ruining our profession, because who wants to come into this system when they are automatically set up for failure."
Parents are also worried the tests take the focus away from helping students develop skills that aren't on the test.
"She's just a very lively writer," said Kuykendall of her daughter, "but then to be sure she answers questions quickly, and effectively, and has all the key words, and the short responses that she does for a state exam, my daughter's teacher has to teacher her sort of how to write very dull prose."Sign the New York State Teachers Association's petition.
In a statement a spokesman for the state department of education said, "[We] have provided tools, resources and training in person and through our dedicated website. The resources include curricular guidance material, curriculum modules, assessment guides, sample questions, etc. The training has been held frequently since August 2011 and attended by hundreds of educators from across the state."
Students will take the new tests next month in both English and math in grades three through eight.