Over 150,000 with 52% of districts reporting. Estimated 357 of 384 will not make 95% participation. Right now our numbers come from news reports, administrators, union representatives, teachers, and other individuals inside the schools who are willing to give us information. We will verify these numbers by FOIA letters beginning immediately after the math tests.
NYSED says they don't care how many opt-outs there are, they'll still be using test scores in teacher and school evaluations:
A NYSED spokesman said Wednesday that the state would still go ahead with its planned use of the data.
"We are confident the department will be able to generate a representative sample of students who took the test, generate valid scores for anyone who took the test, and calculate valid state-provided growth scores to be used in teacher evaluations," spokesman Jonathan Burman said in a written statement.
This is NYSED's take for now, but Rick Hess wrote yesterday that the more opt outs there are, the less likely evaluations can be based on test scores:
School accountability systems and new teacher evaluation systems rely heavily on these test results. These systems don’t necessarily require that every student be tested, but a “sampling” approach needs to deliberately select which students are. Having large numbers of students simply opt out raises troubling questions about the validity of the results. The biggest problem is the potential bias as to which students are and are not being counted in this school or that system, and how that may skew scores.
There are statistical fixes for some of this, but they rely on trying to adjust for how missing students would have scored . . . and, if educators knew that, they wouldn’t need to administer the tests.
Even if the impact is believed to be manageable by state officials, it may still raise deep-seated concerns about the legitimacy and practical impact of the results. Teachers will have a reasonable claim that due process is being violated if, under the new evaluation system championed by Gov. Cuomo, they’re judged “ineffective” based on results that may be skewed. And parents may revolt if their school is targeted for restructuring based on outcomes that they deem suspect.
NYSED, the Board of Regents and Governor Cuomo can try and push through their test-based accountability system as many of the parents of this state rise up in open rebellion of that system, but you can bet that will be challenged in the courts.
We're looking at hundreds of thousands of students opting out of the state tests this year - perhaps as much as a third (or more) of the students expected to take those tests.
SED hasn't been able to show cause in the Sheri Lederman case for why they rated her "ineffective" on her APPR test component and is instead trying to get the case dismissed on the "No Harm, No Foul" rule (see here and here.)
It seems that SED isn't confident enough in whatever data it has on Lederman to use it on her in court.
Do they really think they can pull a similar game with APPR teacher evaluations and school ratings when hundreds of thousands of students opt out of the state tests and throw the system in disarray and get away with it?
You can bet they'll be in court trying to defend that - and unlike in the Lederman case, they won't be able to argue "No Harm, No Foul."