Newsday reports that assessment opt-outs threaten several schools “Blue Ribbon” status in New York.
The actual awards, however, normally would be based largely on results from the latest round of testing in April.
As a result of the test opt-outs, 12 of 19 schools nominated statewide for 2015 Blue Ribbon awards could be found ineligible, state and local education leaders said. The reason, officials said, is that those schools did not achieve the 95 percent student participation rate in this year’s testing that federal rules typically require.
“The Blue Ribbon is something that you earn,” said Kerry Dunne, principal of McVey Elementary, who has helped coordinate a statewide effort to persuade federal officials to adjust their rules. “Our children have worked so hard. Now, for reasons beyond their control and beyond our control, they’re going to be denied that. I really don’t know what’s going to happen next.”
Again this is an example of how overly dependent educrats are on assessments. The U.S. Department of Education who bestows the awards says, “The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.”
No, all the symbol means is that the school has great test takers. That’s it. What does the school receive? Absolutely nothing other than getting to display the flag and call itself a “blue ribbon” school. Which is good for realtors, an honor for teachers and administrators, but does absolutely nothing for students.
I wouldn’t hold my breath to see federal officials change the rules. This is just another way to “punish” schools for the opt-outs and to pressure/shame parents into not exercising their rights.