The toolkit amounts to a lame PR campaign that tries to sell the same old pro-testing talking points we've heard from ed deformers and educrats before.
To say the toolkit was not well-received by superintendents and parents is an understatement.
This is from this morning's Politico NY education email:
“One anti-testing group believes this will only ‘fuel’ the movement. ‘It’s a declaration of war,’ said Jeanette Deutermann, co-founder of anti-testing group New York State Allies for Public Education and administrator of Long Island Opt Out. ‘This is a marketing strategy they’re using …This is insane...’...
When Patchogue-Medford schools superintendent Michael Hynes received the email and kit he said he felt ‘embarrassed’ and then ‘angry.’ ‘I was embarrassed for the state education department because to me it’s a waste of time and it’s a waste of money from their vantage point, a waste of energy to actually give superintendents a module, a script on how to engage parents.’ He promptly responded to the department, saying he “did not need a tool kit,” and deleted the email, Hynes said. Seventy percent of the Long Island district's 3,291 eligible students refused to take the April exams. More than 1,500 students already have handed in refusal letters for next spring's round of testing, he said…
Elia came into her NYSED gig saying she wanted to "repaint" the Common Core standards so that parents would see how swell they are.
This toolkit is part of the "repaint" job she's doing on CCSS and the Endless Testing regime, but it's difficult to see how using stale talking points about testing is going to help change perceptions of the Endless Testing regime:
“Shoreham-Wading River schools Superintendent Steven Cohen said he was hoping the tool kit was more up-to-date…’Unless the state education department and commissioner can really explain to people or address these questions in a way that people will accept, I think people are going to continue to wonder why these reforms are being pushed the way they are.’” http://politi.co/1WzEa6h
It's pretty clear from the way Cuomo's handling his CCSS review task force (i.e., trying to limit attendance) and now from the Elia opt out toolkit that neither the governor nor the state educrats plan any substantive changes to the Common Core or the Endless Testing regime as currently constituted in this state.
If either of them think that stale talking points about testing and a dog and pony show about Common Core are going to fool parents and teachers who are fed up with the reform agenda, they are sorely mistaken.
If anything, they're going to fan the flames of the opt out movement when they say with a straight face "Hey, we listened and heard you!" when it's quite obvious they did not such thing and just continued on with their reform agenda despite words to the contrary.