Last week was a long one for school districts in the state as thousands of parents chose to opt out their children from standardized state English Language Arts exams.
And with math tests looming Wednesday to Friday, districts are unsure whether to expect more opt outs and what effect low participation rates will have on state and federal funding.
Statewide, one advocacy group estimates more than 175,000 students refused to take the tests so far.
The trend has been for more children to refuse to take the tests as the week went on:
Almost all districts contacted by the Times Union saw an increase in test refusals between the start of ELA testing Tuesday and Thursday's end.
The problem with the mid-test opt outs is that those tests will still be scored and counted in the data:
Students deciding to opt out late could also hurt the school more than not participating at all. Any student who began the test on Tuesday or Wednesday but failed to finish it for refusal reasons will still have their exam scored and counted toward the overall district evaluations, said Jonathan Burman, state Education Department spokesman.
With math tests coming mid-week and parents and teachers talking about how horrific the ELA exams were, many districts expect higher rates of children opting out of the math exams than opted out from the ELA exams.
In previous years, the opt out rate for math tests has been higher than the opt out rate for ELA exams, so it seems this starts to gain steam as the testing period goes on.
If the math opt out numbers only match the ELA numbers, we're looking at 350,000 opt outs for the year, well above the 250,000 number opt out proponents were looking to hit to send a message to Albany.
And if the math opt outs are higher than the ELA opt outs, as has been true in previous years, so much the better.
A clear message has been sent to the governor, the state educrats and the Board of Regents that the state's education reform agenda is harmful and they will not allow harm to be done to their children.
Will Albany listen?
So far, we've seen Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and NYSED say full steam ahead, this opt out movement is fueled by the unions mad about teacher evaluation changes.
They are fools if they really think that - this is a mass parent-led uprising, the kind that we've never seen before in education, and it will continue until the politicians and educrats stop trying to impose their harmful education reform agenda.