“Opt-out is potentially a political movement that needs to be reckoned with,” said Donald A. Ogilvie, a former superintendent in Buffalo and Erie 1 BOCES. “As the numbers grow, it adds to the movement.”
Added to the mix is a new state education commissioner, who already has made it clear she sees the opt-out movement as a problem and intends to work with districts to put an end to it.
Whether that will come with mere persuasion, or a hammer, is yet to be seen.
“We have an issue we have to address,” Commissioner MaryEllen Elia told educators in Sweet Home last month. “The opt-out issue is very problematic.”
In meetings with parents and educators in Sweet Home, she suggested that she will first take a more persuasive approach, communicating the purpose and value of the tests to teachers, and recruiting them to get the message out to parents.
She took a similar approach when she was superintendent of the Hillsborough County schools in Florida, hosting a series of community forums prior to the implementation of the Common Core.
“We have to get to the point that people are accepting,” she said.
She also mentioned the possibility of repercussions.
“The law exists so that there could be ramifications,” Elia said.
Ah, yes - the fabled "communication" of the importance of testing, followed by "ramifications" if the communication attempts don't win parents over.
That's where this is heading - Elia has already shown that her idea of compromise is that other groups come to her side of the issues.
Frankly, I think whatever "ramifications" Elia and her merry men and women in reform in Albany cook up will come back to bite them, but we'll have to see.