ALBANY – On Tuesday, about one million New York students in grades 3-8 will sit for the first of six days of state-mandated English Language Arts and math exams spread over the next two weeks.
Tens of thousands of their peers — and maybe more — won't be joining them.
A parent-led effort to opt their children out of New York's standardized tests appears to have gained momentum in recent weeks as the head of the state's teachers union and various labor-backed groups threw their support behind the movement.
Now, with the latest test-refusal effort in its second year, the question isn't whether parents will refuse the tests, but how many.
The state doesn't tally the number of parents who refused the test on their children's behalf. But 67,000 students who didn't take the 2014 math exam had no "known, valid" excuse, along with 49,000 students who skipped the English Language Arts test, according to the state Education Department.
Some school districts are anticipating a sharp increase in opt outs this year, particularly in areas where parent-advocacy groups have been strong — including much of the Hudson Valley and parts of western New York.
In Fairport, Monroe County, more than half of the 2,740 eligible students have already said they intend to refuse the tests. Brian Monahan, interim superintendent of the Mahopac Central School District in Putnam County, said his district is anticipating 20 percent of elementary students and 30 percent of middle-school students won't take the exams.
The numbers have grown so much, Monahan said, that it's becoming a "challenge" to find space for opted-out students to read while their peers take the exams. At least one school will use its gymnasium to accommodate, he said.
A challenge to find space for opt-out students during the test period.
I realize that kind of thing is going to be limited to a few district, but nonetheless, it's amazing when you think about it.
No wonder Merryl Tisch, Kathy Hochul and the pro-Endless Testing regime editorial boards are so shrill over parents opting their children out of the tests.
I wonder if we'll hear from Governor Cuomo about this before it's all said and done?
Oh, wait - we did:
Cuomo, who briefly stopped by the convention, also took issue with the opt-outs.Nothing makes Cuomo sadder than sad than screwing with his teacher evaluation system.
“It would have an effect on the teacher-evaluation system. But more importantly, it would have an effect where you wouldn’t qualify for federal money,” Cuomo told The Post.