While many state legislators have been reluctant to pull their states out of the Common Core educational standards, a growing number of New Yorkers are taking matters into their own hands. Parents and students, with support from some teachers, are opting out of testing in growing numbers.
An Apr. 4 New York Post report covered this tend. Some New York teachers have been lending support to the “opt-out” movement:
Some parents at PS 8 in Brooklyn Heights received emails directly from teachers telling them that their kids can skip the exams without punishment.
“It’s your right to opt out of the NY State Tests. . . . Alternative educational activities are planned for all students opting out,” one email sent by a third grade PS 8 teacher said…
And a fourth grade teacher forwarded an attachment about opting out, claiming it came at the request of assistant principal Robert Mikos, a copy obtained by The Post reveals.
The Post also reported that 20 percent of parents chose to opt their children out from the Common Core standardized testing last year. In the Lower Hudson Valley, the number reported this week was even higher, according to the USA Today:
Some school officials voluntarily reported their figures on Tuesday; others declined, saying the numbers should first be reported to their boards of education; others did not respond at all. Those who responded were responsible for nearly 44,000 students, nearly 10,000 of whom declined to take the test, at a rate of 24 percent.
The Washington Post reported that he number of opt-outs were also high in other areas.
Eighty-six percent of test eligible students in the Long Island district of Comsewogue refused the test, and 89 percent of students in Dolgeville in the Mohawk Valley said “no.”
Newsday reported that 49.7 percent of all Long Island students refused the test Tuesday even though the Newsday editorial board has repeatedly urged parents to have their children take it.
This demonstrates that while state legislators may lack the desire or courage to end participation in Common Core, the public still has options.
James Madison advised Americans in Federalist #46 to engage in a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” as the means to fight back against government overreach, and said that such actions in multiple states would be effective in bringing down federal programs. While Common Core supporters will claim that it’s a state-based program, connecting the dots shows that, at very least, it’s being directed and pushed by the feds.
New York parents and teachers provide a blueprint for people in other states to follow. This year, more bills to nullify Common Core and replace it with state controlled curriculum options have been introduced than ever before. However, many of these bills failed or stalled during the legislative session due to resistance from establishment politicians from both major political parties.
The next step for people in others states is to emulate New York and stage massive opt-out movements. This can open eyes, raise awareness and put legislators on notice. Ultimately, if enough students opt out of the testing, it could collapse the Common Core system altogether.
Additional reporting from Mike Maharrey and Michael Boldin