Friday, July 29, 2016

NY: 2016 Opt Out Remained Huge

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.


  1. Good-- and the tests always were pointless because a standardized tests is almost impossible to make that will not be pointless. The problem of bias, poorly written questions, mathematically dubious scoring practices, and uncontrollable outside variables will Always make them Pointless!
    Well Done New York Parents!

  2. Does anyone find it odd that NYSED does not release the results of the other Common Core tests - the ones that really count. Regents algebra I (CC) and Regents ELA (CC) are both required for graduation and have been aligned with Common Core standards.

    Think about it. Cognitive dissonance does not play well for reformers.

    1. The results are released, but not formally, with all the fanfare.

  3. When Common Core tests become HS graduation requirements something very interesting happens to the pass rate. We certainly aren't seeing 65% failure rates in our grade 9 algebra I Regents or in our grade 11 ELA Regents.

    If anyone wants to see just how bogus Common Core testing in NYS is, just compare pass rates in grade 8 to grade 9 algebra I. Why are all the highly effective math teachers in grade 9?

  4. Some inside scoop from NYSAPE founding member Bianca Tanis.