But on Thursday, the chancellor of the State Board of Regents, Merryl H. Tisch, said in a phone interview that the federal Education Department informed the state’s Education Department “a couple of weeks ago” that it was leaving any decision about financial penalties to the state. And Ms. Tisch, whose board oversees the state agency and appoints the commissioner, said the state did not plan to withhold money from districts.
The New York Times article makes it very clear however that New York State education officials do not understand that parents have a constitutional right to refuse the state tests. New York State education officials have every intention of doing whatever they can to convince parents that the state tests are still a good thing despite the fact that over 200,000 New York parents who refused the tests in April 2015 disagree.
Ms. Tisch did not rule out withholding money in future years if the state discovered that district officials were encouraging opt-outs.
School officials need to know, Ms. Tisch said, that “they have to be responsible to work with parents to explain why the testing system is so important to the district and to the school.”
I am in total agreement with Assemblyman Jim Tedisco’s comments from last week when he said that Commissioner Elia should stop bullying parents, schools on opt-outs
As a result of those high opt-out numbers, our new State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia chose to intimidate New York parents and school districts with threats of pulling funding from schools with high percentages of students who opt out of grades 3-8 Common Core standardized tests.
It seems Elia is trying to “kill the messenger” for SED’s introduction of a flawed system by penalizing parents, students and schools with threatening to cut school funding.
Commissioner Elia should stop bullying New York’s parents and schools because huge numbers of students are opting out of the flawed, developmentally inappropriate Common Core standardized tests. Unless there are real changes made to Common Core, these opt-out numbers will only grow exponentially next year.
We pushed to get Assemblyman Tedisco’s legislation, the Common Core Parental Refusal Act (A.6025/S.4161), passed in Albany this past spring codifying a parent/child’s right to refuse the state tests but the majority sat on Tedisco’s bill and failed to bring their own weaker version (read here and here) to the governor’s desk. Now we get to face continued threats of retribution if parents exercise their right to refuse this coming school year.
Contact your state and federal legislators and demand that the intimidation stops and our right to refuse is clearly articulated.
UPDATE August 20, 2015 10:25pm:
Today, the Governor, one of the strongest proponents for the over-utilization of developmentally inappropriate Common Core standardized tests, is singing a different song and said “I don’t believe there are sanctions for opt-outs. At the end of the day, parents are in charge and parents make the decisions.”
– The Governor and Elia: good cop, bad cop or keystone cops on Common Core? timesunion.com August 20, 2015
I can’t wait to get the Common Core Parental Refusal Act on Governor Cuomo’s desk so he can sign it!