Nearly 56% of students at a school district in Rochester have opted out of Common Core testing, with more expected as testing begins on Tuesday.
Interim Superintendent Bill Cala reports that the Fairport Central School District has seen 1,534 out of 2,740 eligible students decline to participate in the testing.
Just two weeks ago, Cala was telling ABC 13 that he had never seen a “parental revolt” like this in his 44-year career. At that point, numbers were showing just 20% of students had chosen to opt out.
The revolt is apparently growing.
Only one other New York school district, West Irondequoit, had opt out numbers available. A district spokeswoman there said the rate was 27%.
Of Fairport’s 56% rate, the reporter at the Democrat & Chronicle described it thusly:
That refusal rate makes a mockery of the New York State Education Department requirement that 95 percent of students take the tests so a district can properly calculate their test-taking progress.
That is a news report, not an opinion piece.
Governor Cuomo’s administration warned parents of “consequences in the future” should parents continue to opt their children out of the Common Core testing.
Via State of Politics:
Having children opt out of Common Core-based standardized tests could do long-term harm, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul warned on Wednesday while in western New York.
“I understand the stress, I’m a parent I know what it was like,” Hochul told reporters during a stop in Williamstown. “The truth is, I think if you hold you’re children back from this kind of participation, it could be doing them a disservice. But if they want to make an individual decision going down that path, there are consequences in the future that I’d be concerned about.”
With these staggering numbers coming out, it would appear the consequences are being felt by the administration, not the children.
Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco has submitted legislation that would require schools to notify parents of their right to refuse standardized Common Core testing for their children.
With the new bill, schools will be required to inform families of their rights when it comes to test refusal, along with a response form ensuring that those rights have been viewed.
The Common Core Parental Refusal Act will prevent schools and teachers from being penalized based on the number of students who opt out. Students too, will neither be punished or rewarded based on their participation, or lack thereof, in the standardized testing.
Those same Assembly members began a petition that will send a message to Governor Cuomo with each signature urging him to support the legislation.
Thus far, the petition has garnered nearly 15,000 signatures.
In January, Cala wrote that the opt out movement would “collapse the evaluation system and the governor’s plan to dismantle public education.”
Perhaps we are witnessing that collapse.