Sunday, January 17, 2016

Do Not Be Fooled: Opt Out Continues in 2016

Once again my friend Jeanette Deutermann, the leader of Long Island Opt Out, nails it.  The reality is little has changed despite minor tweaks proposed by the Cuomo Common Core Task Force and enacted by the Board of Regents and NYSED.

Parents should continue to boycott the state assessments until all harmful reforms are removed from our children's public schools.

Here is Jeanette's advice:

For those of you new to this page or the opt out movement, first, welcome!! All of the information on here can seem overwhelming and "too much". There are key facts to stay focused on:

1. Opt out has been the ONLY vehicle that has produced change and continues to be the only factor to continue the changes.

2. We are a long way from winning, but we have swung the door wide open to these changes.

3. Your district will NOT lose money if you have high opt out numbers. Threats have been made and uninformed administrators may even tell you this. These are simply empty threats that we have heard every year for four years with no financial loss to any district ANYWHERE. Not a single dollar.

4. Although state test scores will not be calculated in this year's teacher evaluation scores, THE TESTS ARE STILL THE SAME, WRITTEN BY PEARSON, CLOSE TO 9 HOURS LONG, 18 HOURS FOR SPECIAL ED STUDENTS, 6 DAYS, ALMOST 2 WEEKS OF INSTRUCTION LOST, SCHOOLS STILL BEING GRADED, RANKED, AND SORTED BY STATE ASSESSMENTS. In other words, as far as our children are concerned, nothing has changed. As for the State talking shorter tests, they have shaved a few minutes off the 9 hours.

5. The law to make assessments count as 50% of the evaluation score (which encourages test prep and a test focused curriculum) that our legislators pushed through last year is still in place with Cuomo expressing that he will not allow it to be changed. While this law is in place we will always have test focused classrooms.

6. If parents opt back into the state test this year, the changes will stop, and any progress made will most likely reverse course. 

7. Deals will be made for various organizations to convince parents that everything is fine now. We will see commercials, ads, and other marketing strategies to convince parents to comply.