In 440 of the state’s 721 districts, The Times found that at least 165,000 students opted out of at least one test, based on information from districts and local news reports. That figure is four times the number of pupils who had refused the tests in those districts last year. In at least 60 districts, refusers outnumbered the test takers.
In the other 250-plus districts, including New York City’s, by far the state’s largest, data was either unavailable or officials did not respond.
Just two years ago, 95 percent student participation in tests, the minimum standard called for by federal requirements, was nearly universal; this year, among districts with available information, only a few reported meeting that standard. In Fairport, near Rochester, for example, participation dropped from 96 percent to 33 percent in a single year.
Read the rest of the piece - it certainly is favorable coverage:
As the vanguard of an anti-testing fervor that has spread across the country, New York’s opt-out movement already has become a political force. Just two months ago, lawmakers from both parties, at the behest of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, increased the role of test scores in teacher evaluations and tenure decisions.
Those same legislators are now tripping over one another to introduce bills that guarantee the right to refuse to take tests. The high numbers will also push state and federal officials to make an uncomfortable decision: whether to use their power to financially punish districts with low participation rates.
“We’ve written letters to legislators for years, until we were blue in the face, and they didn’t listen,” said Eric Mihelbergel, a founding member of New York State Allies for Public Education, a test-refusal group. “But they’re listening now, now that we’re opting our kids out.”
Indeed they are listening.
I'm not yet convinced we're getting any real change from policymakers and lawmakers, but the sheer number of opt outs this year got their attention and if real change to the Endless Testing regime doesn't come soon, then political prices must be paid by the politicians who continue to support it.