Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, August 21, 2015

Tisch, Elia Warn They Will Go After Educators Who Support Or Encourage The Opt Out Movement

Yesterday Regents Chancellor Tisch announced that there will be no sanctions against districts with high opt out rates this year but put the onus on district superintendents for communicating the importance of the state tests for next year:

Ms. Tisch said that Ms. Elia had told the Board of Regents she would present a plan to them in September about how she would work with superintendents and principals whose districts and schools had high opt-out rates, in order to get them to reverse the tide of test refusals.
Ms. Tisch did not rule out withholding money in the future if the state discovered that district officials were encouraging opt-outs.
School officials need to know, Ms. Tisch said, that “they have to be responsible to work with parents to explain why the testing system is so important to the district and to the school.”

That warning came after NYSED Commissioner MaryEllen Elia called teachers who support or encourage opt out "unethical."

Elia also warned:

I don't agree with opt out. I will, uh, and am moving forward to do everything I can so that we can make sure that we don't have our opt out in any way grow and in fact when people I think become more aware of the importance of having the assessments


There are ramifications that can occur. I'm not saying what will occur, I'm just saying there are. The federal government has the ability to withdraw funds from districts and we have the ability as the state to say to any educator that's not an ethical thing you're doing. We have the ability to say to a superintendent, um, I just want you to know that you are an officer of the state and encouraging people to not follow the law is not acceptable.

A commenter at Perdido Street School took the gauntlets thrown down by Tisch and Elia for opt out next year to the the logical conclusion: they are going to go after any educators - teachers, administrators or superintendents - who are not fully on board the Endless Testing regime express:

Cuomo's, Tisch's, and now Elia's recent statements are suggesting how they will be approaching Opt Out.....3020A'ing any "educator," Admin or teacher, who in any way support or do not OPPOSE opt out. Cuomo and Tisch were putting the happy face on it to penalties! And Elia was very clear in saying that any educators who support opt out are "unethical." That suggests the "moral character" language of a 3020A.

Their path forward cannot be penalizing parents, kids, or funding of schools...thats a political shit storm and they know it. The only thing left on the table are those that they are trying to destroy thats where the hammer will fall for opt out.

Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that writing on the wall. We've been warned. Hey NYSUT leadership...y'all listening? Nope, probably not. 

The commenter nailed it with her/his comment - the politics around Endless Testing and opt out are such that the politicians and the educrats cannot punish the parents or the students.

But the teachers - well, that's another matter, isn't it?

The language being used here, especially by Elia - people who support opt out are "not reasonable," teachers who "support or encourage opt out...are unethical" - suggests they will look to frame opt out as the evil educators manipulating parents into opting their kids out of the state tests.


  1. Does that mean as the parent of 2 children - one in elementary and one in middle school (in a different district). Does this mean if my spouse and I choose to not have our children take the state exams or "O-squared" we'll call it the state will be coming after me? Oh, this will get interesting.

    1. oops, grammar.

    2. How will this work for parents who also happen to be teachers? What happens when they choose to opt out their children from all of the unnecessary testing? The state cannot punish a person in this situation as they would be playing the role of a parent in this situation!!!!!!

  2. Fifty percent next year! This lady needs to understand that when the state does something of value on behalf of kids and parents it does not need to be mandated, sold to, or forced down the throats of people. Definitely time to take back our schools form Albany and DC!

  3. Elia was brought in specifically...she is the bull spewing the "you know what" as Cuomo and Tisch hide behind her. Elia will be thrown under the bus by these two, but she is New York's version of the Common Core "advertiser". As soon as all hell breaks loose, she will run with her money sticking out of her pocket as Cuomo and Tisch will develop their sudden amnesia.

    As a parent in New York, I say "No" to Elia. And furthermore, since New York City's opt-out numbers were low due to Farina not doing her due diligence as other superintendents did, let's save her the trouble.

    For every parent that opted out of last year's (borrowing from Elia) unethical and immoral exams, send your district's advisement of rights to "opt-out" to three other parents in New York City, either through the mail, through e-mail, or in person.

    Ms Elia...we, the people of New York, are not threatened or coerced by you, and wholeheartedly and unconditionally opt out for the academic school year, 2015-2016.

    While we agree that exams do hold a proper and legitimate purpose, the exams you push upon the students of this great state serve no academic or pedigocical purpose, and are intended to systematically destroy public education across New York.

    On behalf of our students, their parents, our teachers and our public schools, we said no in the past, we say no to you now, and we say no to you for the upcoming school year.

    This is non-negotiable, unconditional, and on behalf of 225,000+ students and their families, we reject you and your demands, and stand ready to defend our democratic traditions in the Empire and always.

    "Hands across New York...
    one million students united,
    pulling the curtains on the privatization movement...
    until democracy and public education are righted!