Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cuomo Says High Opt Out Rates Shouldn't Be Held Against Districts


Schools with high rates of students opting out of standardized tests shouldn’t be penalized through a withholding of federal funds, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Cuomo, speaking in Utica with reporters on Thursday, wouldn’t criticize parents for choosing to have their children not take the tests.

“I don’t believe there are sanctions for opt outs,” Cuomo said. “At the end of the day, parents are in charge and parents make the decisions.”

That's the public statement, of course - you can bet Cuomo doesn't have either the political courage or the political backing to take on the parents who opted their children out of the state's Endless Testing regime directly.

But make no mistake, behind the scenes he and his minions are trying to figure out ways to get those opt out numbers down next year.

You see, he's put a lot of political capital into his vaunted APPR teacher evaluation system, but if 20% of eligible students opt out of the tests the system is based upon, well, that does put in a crimp in things.

If the trend for opt out continues to grow - opt outs went from 5% in 2014 to 20% in 2015 - Cuomo's vaunted APPR is DOA.

So I don't make too much of this statement by Cuomo.

This is the sort of thing he has to say in front of the cameras, but behind the scenes it's a different story.

The Opt Out movement hurts his teacher evaluation system and you can bet Cuomo doesn't like that at all.


  1. They're probably going to do a reverse and instead of punish by withholding funds, they will reward each test that is taken with $$.

    This is a common business strategy that is used in retail, especially with credit cards. They can't punish credit card users, but they can drop the price for those that pay with cash.

    1. It would pit neighbor against neighbor, and be quite problematic at a local level

  2. Next year 50%. Good to see Quid Pro Quomo at least uses the term "Opt Out." NYSED won't go there use another euphemism. These are our schools and Albany and DC need to be reminded frequently of that fact!

  3. I agree that this statement is all about political rhetorical expediency and obviously not a reflection of Cuomo evolving.

    Here's the deal: Cuomo's grand agenda, the object he is after is not Common Core, VAM, APPR, continuous testing, is to remove organized teachers who are in the way of privatizing as much public educational real estate as possible within the state. He has been using Common Core, VAM, etc as a MEANS to achieve the above objective. He doesnt care to wits about any of these things, nor does he care enough to believe in them or not...he is using them as tools to hustle out as many teachers as possible. Thats why all of the intellectual work being done to disprove VAM, etc etc etc doesnt mean a thing. Everyone knows its BS, but Cuomo has made it LEGAL bs to start using it to remove teachers.
    So, that said, Cuomo can come out and say there shouldn't be a price paid for districts that have high opt out rates. He doesn't care. Opt out all you want! He will still use the garbage tests and VAM to F teachers up. And if that fails, he'll do something else, like go after the TRS and our pensions and leverage us to concede away more protections. Whatev. His object is as clear and firm as ever.