New York Sees Massive Number of Assessment Opt-Outs Again

New York State Department of Education Building in Albany, NY. Photo credit: Matt H. Wade (CC-By-SA)
New York State Department of Education Building in Albany, NY
Photo credit: Matt H. Wade (CC-By-SA 3.0)

New York State saw 20% of their students opt-out of their Common Core-aligned assessments last year.  This prompted the New York Board of Regents to makes some changes, such as, offer a shorter test.

While I don’t know if we’ll see the record amounts of opt-outs we saw last year it is pretty clear the numbers will be big this year as well.

Newsday reports thousands of students have refused the test on Long Island.

Thousands of students in a dozen of Long Island’s biggest districts already submitted forms to opt out of the tests, a Newsday survey shows. Administrators said more are expected to do so as the first exams begin Tuesday.

New York students are taking the ELA assessments this week. The math assessments are scheduled for April 13-15.

Carol Burris, writing a guest op/ed at The Washington Post, discussed what her group, Network for Public Education (which is spearheading a national opt-out) has heard in New York.

Eighty-seven percent of the students in Allendale Elementary School outside of Buffalo, New York opted out.  Eighty-six percent of test eligible students in the Long Island district of Comsewogue refused the test, and 89 percent of students in Dolgeville in the Mohawk Valley said “no.”

Long Island continues to be the hotbed of testing resistance. Newsday reported that 49.7 percent of all Long Island students refused the test Tuesday even though the Newsday editorial board has repeatedly urged parents to have their children take it.  Patchogue-Medford Superintendent Michael J. Hynes characterized Opt Out as “a thunderclap” sent to Albany.  Seventy-one percent of the students in his district refused the Common Core tests.

There is also evidence that the Opt Out movement is gaining ground with parents of color, with many no longer willing to buy the spin that taking Common Core tests will improve their children’s life chances.

Ninety-seven percent of the more than 1,000 students who attend Westbury Middle School in Nassau County are black or Latino, and  81 percent are economically disadvantaged.  On Tuesday, 50 percent of those students were opted out of the tests by their parents. Last year, the number was 2 percent.

It looks to me like the opt-out movement is alive and well and growing.

2 thoughts on “New York Sees Massive Number of Assessment Opt-Outs Again

  1. Why should the parents of New York be out of step with what’s happening all across the nation?

    Of course, this opt-out resistance is about education. But it is also about what is boiling folks from coast-to-coast … this never-ending, ever-intrusive, arrogant, and ruinous involvement of government to be front and center in the lives of every man, woman, and child.

    This test-refusal effort is a scream at the federal and state governments to back off … retreat … and leave folks alone to craft the sort of society that will be … not the society envisioned by a few.

    Parents want their schools back … among other things. This current effort … withholding kids from academic assessments … is way more complex than just a pile of lousy exams spawned by a wretched educational reform. That’s the surface stuff. The roots are much deeper. Only the daring will squint hard to see the links that are so obvious.

    This society is set to explode … one way or another.

    These tests are serious stuff for parents … and more serious stuff for children. This resistance has fired up lots of pretty ordinary folks into becoming very active managers of their own lives … and it will carry over into other issues soon enough. This election season is already the most bizarre of my long life … and it looks to get even more memorable in the months ahead.

    Why? Because government … and a slender class of autocratic fops … has made it their business to be in everyone else’s business. We have these self-appointed wind-bags who have this neurotic, messiah complex that results in chaos for everything they touch.

    They’ve ruined healthcare, border security, policing, immigration, the economy, education, and just about everything else they’ve knocked up against. Why are folks so surprised that people are fit to be tied?

    The new Know-It-All class … the self-anointed oligarchs … have imposed their norms and values and programs and reforms with absolute ease over the last several years … but the breaking point is here. The signs are all about … just look at the sort of political figures who have captured the attention of the people. They’re not oligarchic types at all .. in fact, they’re the antidotes to the giant itch that troubles this nation.

    The really amazing thing about this reform/test counter-action is the resistance to the resistance. The educational oligarchs … just like the social and political oligarchs … will not admit what is underfoot. They will not concede that the agitation is their fault … caused by their ineptitude and their arrogance. That is a sure-fire fuse that will easily flame up. Nothing pisses off good people more than being played for dummies.

    And the people are pissed off.

    This moment … in education … is an early prelude to what’s in store for this political season. I’m sure that these parents … who stood tall for their children and their neighborhood schools … won’t vanish for a long while. They’re just warming up.

    The oligarchs have blown it … big time. And it all began with the biggest dummy of all … Arne Duncan … that mother-bashing fop who lit that fuse.

    This Duncan quote about suburban moms might be the most memorable educational gaffe of recent decades: ” … “their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”

    Duncan is still in search of the world’s largest vacuum … but those words have stuck in the craw of every parent from Long Island to Los Angeles. And now those moms … and dads … are the first in battle against the snob class. And they’re winning.

    Denis Ian

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