Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, April 11, 2015

So Many Opt-Outs They're Having Trouble Finding Space For Them All

Jon Campbell in the Gannett papers:

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.

“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.
 Nothing makes Cuomo sadder than sad than screwing with his teacher evaluation system.


  1. NY's corporate controlled media have been making all sorts of baseless threats and still the movement grows. We should understand that the initiators of this movement were parents who understood these exams provide no benefit for their children. Only lately have teacher unions and political parties (WFP) begun to echo the message of parents. The questions remain where are the NY State School Boards Association, the Council of School Superintendents, and the PTA? Those organizations will lose credibility based upon their unwillingness to take a child centered position on this question. It seems their leadership are more aligned with Tisch, Cuomo, and former Commissioner King--who had the stupidity to call parents a "special interest group."

  2. We all know where this is going and where it will end. The number of parents/students refusing the test will only grow. No one who opted out last year is going to take it. The numbers will increase until they become too big to ignore.

    Nothing scares politicians more than mass public opinion turning against them. While larceny might be in many of their hearts, they are cowards most of all. I don't expect any of them to admit their complicity in the Cuomo/Tisch/Flanagan agenda. Instead, they will point the finger everywhere other than at themselves.

    If the opt out number soars to a point where the test becomes an absolute farce, members of the Heavy Hearts Club are going to run like rats for the exit from the agenda that was passed on March 31.

    When parents get angry we are in the 7th inning. Even the NYS PTA president issued scathing remarks about the budget, APPR, testing, opt-out, etc. I do not think the genie can be put back in the bottle at this point. The war is far from over, but the other side is getting a taste of what is in store for them down the road.

  3. In my district on Long Island there are so many opt-outs that all the special area teachers will be chaperoning the kids in the school auditorium during the tests.

  4. I was with a Suffolk superintendent today for two hours. He told me he hopes every single kid opts out. He trashed Cuomo/Flanagan every which way he could.

  5. Let's keep this going. Here on the Northshore of Long Island there has been a heavy push for opt out. I was content to see a number of cars with magnetic stickers calling for it. As a NYC public school teacher, I only wish our union would back this. I thank all those here in my location and elsewhere who have spread the word via FB, outside our children's school - gosh even the supermarket and at softball practice!

  6. I wonder how the increase in opt-outs (refusals) will affect the motivation of their peers who are stuck in the testing rooms?

    If my friends were all in the auditorium while I had to sit for a 90 minute ELA test, I think that I would __.

    a) wonder why me?
    b) finish really fast (in 20 minutes)
    c) put my head down and sleep for 70 minutes
    d) dream about things that are actually important
    e) all of the above

  7. We expect very large opt out numbers in Nassau County along the South Shore of Long Island, from the Five Towns through Wantagh. And many more coming along, assisted by many superintendents sending letters home advising very clearly the procedure for the opting out. Suffolk County totals will very high as well, if not higher.

  8. You heard it here first: soon so-called reform mouthpieces will be comparing parents and students that opt-out with anti-vaxxers.

    Gotta keep feeding the machine...

    1. Yes. I'd have to agree. They will try the anti-vac comparison. Lets watch for that and get in front of it. That one could have know....because anti-vax folks ARE actually batshit.

    2. I thought I read somewhere a few weeks ago where someone was doing this - but can't remember.

  9. At bottom, a test isn't a vaccination. Good teaching enabled by teacher freedom is the world only known vaccine and antidote to ignorance. It makes kids susceptible to the Enlightenment. Now that is something. So it's an easy counter-attack to push back so long as we get in front of it.

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