School districts, fearing financial repercussions if too many students refuse to take state tests next week, are urging parents to reconsider the decision to opt out.
The state Education Department has said districts with a student participation rate lower than 95 percent could face potentially significant consequences.
Low-performing schools might be subject to increased state oversight and a loss of federal funding. For high-performing schools, it could mean the loss of funding and reputation.
George Stone, Lakeland superintendent, said it could amount to a loss of $3 million in Title I and special education funding. Jonathan Ross, Blind Brook interim superintendent, wrote in a letter to parents Friday that state aid could be withheld if fewer than 95 percent of students participated in the exams.
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin's response to threats of lost funding and increased oversight:
State Ed. & school districts and Cuomo use words like "could" (not will) lose funding. Call their bluff. #CommonCore http://t.co/kCul7U9h4e
— Steve McLaughlin (@SteveMcNY) April 13, 2015
And indeed, notice the words "could" and "might" show up again and again when the pro-Endless Testing regime politicians, educrats and newspaper editorial boards talk about why they don't want parents opting their children out of the state tests.
Here's another example, same article:
The state Education Department said it had the power to withhold funding, though details on how that would work were not available.
"The U.S. Department of Education has made clear that when a district fails to ensure that students participate in required state assessments, the state education agency is expected to consider imposing sanctions on that district, including — in the most egregious cases — withholding programmatic funds," spokesman Jonathan Burman said.
"However," Burman added, "the real impact of opting out is that we lose the chance — at both the state and the local level — to learn about the progress of our students and their schools. That loss is immediate and it is permanent."
"Expected to consider imposing sanctions..."
Not expected to impose sanctions, but "expected to consider imposing sanctions..."
See the game the educrats are playing here?
They're issuing threats - but they're hollow threats.
As Assemblyman McLaughlin says, call their bluff.
The latest polling out tonight shows how deeply disliked Andrew Cuomo is upstate (35% approval - 61% disapproval.)
His education reform agenda is unpopular, he is unpopular and you can bet if push comes to shove and hundreds of thousands of parents opt their children out of the state tests this month, Cuomo and SED will back down in the game of chicken over the funding.
Unpopular politicians with unpopular agenda do NOT win when there is a mass uprising of people taking them on.
So, call SED's bluff.
Call Cuomo's bluff.