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Fredonia School Board president to meet with education commissioner on standardized test boycott

FREDONIA – School Board President Michael K. Bobseine will meet with state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia in Albany on Friday to talk about student refusals to take standardized tests.

Bobseine announced the visit during a meeting of the Fredonia Central School Board on Tuesday in the school library.

“I want a letter to express the specific concerns we have,” said Bobseine, who invited school administrators and board members to give their ideas to him to take to the meeting. “It is a great opportunity.”

Bobseine said that the meeting is sponsored by the New York State School Boards Association and that attendance at the session was limited to 15 board members from throughout the state.

“We have shared our concerns over the past two or three years,” said Superintendent Paul J. DiFonzo, who agreed to gather comments as well as statistics on students who refuse to take state tests.

In other business:

• DiFonzo discussed progress on the building project at the school and said drainage problems in the track area were addressed by the contractor, with the track expected to be complete by spring.

• A backpacking program for Fredonia Middle School students in April and May was expanded to allow Cassadaga, Brocton and Silver Creek students to attend. There will be one-, two- and four-day hikes during the program.

• The board approved a list of substitute teachers and other staff appointments, as well as a list of students from SUNY Fredonia who will be completing practicums during the school year.