During a CapTon interview last night, Nolan, a Queens Democrat, revealed her conference is “looking at legislation that would really reaffirm a parent’s right to opt out.”
“I think that we have to give parents some say here,” the assemblywoman said. “And it’s an obligation on the part of the Regents and the state Education Department to make sure that these tests are valid tests that reflect appropriately the diverse backgrounds of our children, the skill set is it the right skill set, the appropriate age level.”
“…We’ve heard from an awful lot of people on Long Island, and it has made an impact on me, and I hope it will make an impact on the Senate majority as well.”
Nolan noted that the testing “mania” (as she called it) coincided with her ascension to the position of Education Committee chair, and she now regrets some of the early support she gave to the idea that regular and rigorous testing was the best way to assess student performance.
“I sometimes feel, you don’t want to second guess yourself, (but) I have stepped from some of the initial support I gave it myself,” Nolan said.
“If I had to do it again, I would have opted my own son out from some of these tests. He would probably be happy to hear that now, he’s pretty much finished with them. But I think it created too much of a burden. We’ve kind of over-tested our children, so I think we really need to take a step back.”
The governor's agenda promotes a heavy emphasis on testing - 50% of a teacher's evaluation will be based on test scores - so I can't imagine he's going to agree to an "opt-out" bill coming from the Assembly.
But it's important to get him publicly to take a stance on "opt-out" so that parents can see just whose side he's on - the testing companies and edu-entrepreneurs who make the money off this chaos.