Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Newsday Editorial Says State MUST Get Kids To Take Their State Tests This School Year Or Else!

The shrillness of the deformers continues:

The U.S. Department of Education notified states last week of actions it may take, including financial penalties, if the percentage of students taking the tests falls below 95 percent. Of course, in New York in Spring 2015 that percentage fell to about 80 percent, and to about 50 percent on Long Island. The timing serves notice to those who have supported opt-out to oppose excessive testing and test prep and the fear they claim comes from tying student scores to teacher evaluations: students must take tests so that schools, districts and states can be assessed. Washington will not budge on this.

In New York, education reformers also have taken a huge step back, decoupling tests from teacher evaluations for four years and promising new achievement standards and better exams. Now the state must convince unions, parents and teachers that they have been accommodated as much as possible, and must get students to take the tests this spring. And they must get participation percentages up in districts that get little federal funding, because the whole state could lose funding if New York participation doesn’t reach 95 percent.

If poorer districts with generally low opt-out numbers lose federal money because richer districts with high opt-out percentages pull down the state numbers, Albany can and should make up that shortfall. It should take state aid away from high opt-out districts and award it to high-needs districts where nearly all the kids take the exams.

The threat that money will be taken away by the feds is as much jive this year as it was last year.

Does anyone really think that the Obama administration is going to take away school aid because of opt out in an election year?

Please...

The desperation of the deformers is clear as they use FEAR to try and stem the opt out movement.

The curtain has been pulled back on the Endless Testing regime and exposed for the empty compliance measure it is.

Deformers are desperately trying to get people back to believing that there's some meaning to the state testing regime.

If FEAR over their own kids won't work, then they'll use FEAR over the funding.

But given the political realities of the Obama administration thankfully sunsetting next year with an election held in November, their threats are empty ones.

That won't stop the fear-meisters at Newsday from trying to sow discord, of course.

But we can call this Newsday editorial what it is - fear-mongering - and the Newsday editors who published what they are - fear-meisters.

18 comments:

  1. There's a Huffington Post article explaining the history behind the Friedrich's anti-Union case which will be argued in front of the US Supreme Court in January: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/8781598 plus a petition calling out the Center for Individual Rights for bringing the Friedrich's case and generally promoting anti-labor legislation at http://petitions.moveon.org/aft/sign/center-for-individual?akid=160568.4419798.1ueu12&rd=1&source=mo&t=2

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    1. The article's by Robert Creamer, a lobbyist and the husband of Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois rep to Congress.

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  2. "But given the political realities of the Obama administration thankfully sunsetting next year ..." RBE: what makes you think a Trump or Clinton administration would change current federal education policies?

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    1. I don't think any such thing. I do think with an election coming, the Obama administration will not go out of their way to antagonize large swaths of the electorate by holding back federal ed funds based upon opt out numbers.

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  3. Fear mongering with Orwellian consequences by an ignorant, illegitimate authoritarian Federal government. Only George Orwell could comment. A plaintive cry can be heard emanating from George Orwell's grave at All Saints' Churchyard, Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, beseeching "Bury me deeper, please..."

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  4. The Feds can take their money and shove it deep where the sun don't shine.

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  5. Our Chief Executive is a petty, misinformed angry tyrant. Don't be deceived by his charm offensives.

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  6. 400K...or higher!

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  7. This fear mothering is a page out of Naomi Kleins "Disaster Capitalism" or similar title. Create a disaster and please let us fix it.

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  8. The manipulation and use of incentives by the Department of Education is an unwarranted violation of the US constitution. According to the US constitution education is a matter left exclusively to the states. I cite San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodrigues (1973) , the Court specifically opined that education "is not among the rights afforded explicit protection under our Federal Constitution. Nor do we find any basis for saying it is implicitly so protected."

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  9. ok...
    BUT....what if the scare tactic works? what if opt-out doesn't grow or even shrinks a little?

    Really. There seems to be soooo much confidence that Opt-Out will grow. Like break it down for me....where are these new numbers coming from? NYC?? I think NYC will remain flatline again for opt-out in 2016. Are there entire new regions of the state that look like they will be joining opt-out? Where? Growth is only possible at the margins of where opt-out was already strong I think.

    I think for John Q. Public, all of this fake-scaling back etc by Cuomo etc. is seen as legit. I think that it is only seen as complete bullshit to those of us deeply in this loop....like hardcore opt-out folks.

    I'm just scared that we may be in a bit of an echo-chamber here....sort of like how Republicans. I dunno.

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  10. Why should schools take one hour to time to give flawed tests that provide no value to parents and students and have been linked to flawed VAM/APPR evaluation systems? If they do not count for kids then we should not spend 15 minutes subjecting students to these costly and flawed assessments! Growing opt out numbers depends entirely upon getting the message to urban parents--the suburbs are not going to send their kids back!

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  11. Well right...exactly....growing opt-out numbers depends entirely upon getting the message out to urban parents. Opt-out can only truly grow as more regions of the state are folded in...namely NYC. And I just don't see that happening in the slightest. I don't see an active organizational push for that. Even here where I live, in a strong opt-out region, I hear less talk than I did last year about it. The opt-out hardcore are still hardcore, but I don't see numbers growing beyond the regions that already exist.

    I really think we've talked ourselves into ASSUMING opt-out will grow and that that will deal the final blow to Cuomo's education vision in NYS. I don't think thats the case at all. I think even if opt out comes through in 2016, its still not enough to derail his vision. Only a robust, organized teachers movement of saying no and taking really smart, effective, and aggressive action, mixed with growing opt-out will knock the Cuomo agenda off its game.....and that doesn't mean the war will be won....just an effective punch thrown. What we face is THE existential crisis of public education in New York, nothing less. Lets try not to make every mistake in the book in regards to movement politics. Thats all.

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  12. The Opt Out movement is both a civil disobedience movement and a civil rights movement. Parents must be organized in order to make the outcome successful. It is a movement against tyrannical corporatism designed to exploit African American and Latino youth by enslaving them to corporate consumerism. It is a throwback to colonialism with the same hot pursuit after oversized profits.

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    1. Once again, President Obama is on the wrong side of history!

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  13. The Feds are twisting themselves in pretzels to jam these tests down our throats. All of it makes me think they are on such thin ground that the right legal challenge would KO this business easily.

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