By CAROLYN THOMPSON and KAREN MATTHEWS
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - New York state education officials have been sounding the alarm for months: English and math tests that students will take this week and next will be harder than before and scores will drop.
A video from the state Education Department warns, "We expect them to be lower."
Statewide, students in third through eighth grades have spent hours studying for the tests, but some parents are planning to boycott them.
They will be harder because they are aligned with the Common Core standards, which are intended to boost academic rigor.
New York adopted the Common Core in 2010, but schools have not fully implemented the guidelines.
Education officials say students must master the harder exams to compete in the global economy.
Matthews reported from New York City.
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Members of the community of the Riverdale section of the Bronx gathered above the site of the crash of a metro-north train to pray for the injured and the dead. Four passengers were killed and more than 60 injured when the commuter train heading to Manhattan from Poughkeepsie derailed Sunday morning near the Spuyten Duyvil station.
Commuters who rely on Metro-North trains to get to and from New York City will need to make adjustments to their regular travel plans. Expect reduced service on the Hudson Line between Poughkeepsie and Yonkers following Sunday's deadly train derailment in the Bronx.