Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

De Blasio Says He Sympathizes With Parents Opting Children Out Of State Tests

Earlier this week, Regents Chancellor Tisch attacked Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino for opting his children out of the state tests, saying he had no standards and was contributing to the decline of Western Civilization.

Mayor de Blasio, on the other hand, said he sympathizes with parent frustration over the testing regime:

“I understand their frustrations. When my children were participating in high stakes testing, I saw the same dynamics I think a lot of other parents have seen. The kids feel very nervous, they feel very overwhelmed by the process,” de Blasio said Wednesday.


"We are clear that we’re going to do everything in our power to move away from high stakes testing,” de Blasio said - while acknowledging that much of the testing regime is mandated by the state and federal government. “I think parents are keying into something that’s very real in terms of wanting to see a more balanced system.”

He noted his administration plans to scrap the use of tests as the sole measure to give letter grades to each school.

“A certain number of actions were taken by the previous administration that were optional, if you will, that were the choice of New York City to put more weight on high stakes tests,” he said. “We’re going to roll back a number of those actions. And I think parents who have a concern about high stakes testing are going to be reassured by that.”

Alas, with 40% of teacher evaluations coming from performance assessments and state tests, there will be lots of testing going on in NYC schools and there is little that de Blasio can do about it.

And how about De Blasio's school chancellor, Carmen Farina - where is she on opting out?

Not sounding as sympathetic as the boss:

Schools chancellor Carmen Farina said while parents have a right to opt out, they should understand it could have consequences for their kids.

“The one thing that parents need to know [is] that a lot of our middle schools still for example have admissions procedures and those admissions procedures sometimes are based on the fourth grade test,” she said. “So parents do have choices to make, but they should be aware that all changes have consequences.”

To be fair, though, Farina is nowhere as shrill over opting out as Tisch.

The sheer gall to say Astorino is "contributing to our decline".


I'm so old, I can remember when Merryl Tisch was defending former NYSED Commissioner Richard Mills over lower standards.

Remember that?

If you don't, you can see some of that history here.


  1. I teach in The South Bronx and I was amazed that there were a few parents who opted out. (I am glad that they did, just surprised) Just goes to show that the"opt out" movement is gaining strength EVERYWHERE! Stoked that Mr. Mayor is standing behind parents, students, and teachers. Such a good sign after over a decade of crap from Bloombucks!

    1. Not sure that he is totally standing with parents, as his chancellor was slightly less enthusiastic about opt out than he was. But he certainly is sounding a different tone than Bloomberg or Cuomo.

  2. Ms. Tisch is contributing to the decline of democracy in the United States. She is contributing her fund to bring in Gates
    stooges into the NY State Education Department. She is a world class fraudster.

    1. As all good plutocrats these days are, she is certainly contributing to the move to total plutocracy.

  3. She's the neoliberal gun moll...wife of Capone...

    1. And didn't Al Capone smoke Newport cigarettes?

  4. I think Farina is caught in a rather sticky situation. She is being attacked by both sides. She is most likely watching her WORDS VERY CAREFULLY, so she can at least be less attacked in the media.