The report on 2016 testing is out, and the bottom line is this:
Despite various state attempts to pressure, brow-beat, threaten, cajole, and distribute a huge case of the PR-spin whirlies, the opt out numbers in NY actually went up.
The increase is marginal-- in 2015, 20% did not test, and in 2016, 22% did not test.
But then, in 2015 the state was caught somewhat flatfooted by the opt out movement and could barely get its response together. In 2016 they were prepared from the moment 2015's numbers came out. By November, state education boss, the ostensibly kinder, gentler MaryEllen Elia, the woman who was going to be less off-putting and parent-enraging than John King, had distributed testing propaganda kits to superintendents. There were legal threats. There was even a fake task force assigned to make all the moms and dads settle down.
Boy, with a whole year to lean on parents, things were going to go better.
And heck, from out here in the cheap seats, it looked like even the opt outers were unsure. There was very little crowing and predicting another defeat for NY testing forces.
Nevertheless, defeat arrived.
The report trumpets some increases in proficiency across the state, but what does that even mean? It was a different test, with a cut score set according to the usual mysterious voodoo formula.
And more than one in five New York students did not take it.
One in five.
The test results are meaningless. And the Big Standardized Test of New York is, for the second year, pointless.