Refusal Eve

Word on the street: refusal letters are pouring into schools all across NYS.  Check out this list updated by parents:
2014 List of NYS Districts & Refusal Policies

And for anyone still on the fence, here’s a good read at The Huffington Post:
When Stakes are High and Outcomes Questionable, Parents Should Resist
by Arnold Dodge, March 31, 2014

Of course our fiercest advocate, Diane Ravitch wants you to refuse, too:
Opt Your Child Out of State Testing: Don’t Feed the Machine
by Diane Ravtich, March 31, 2014

Refusal Eve

All Quiet? Quite the Opposite

With the first round of NYS exams beginning on April 1st next week, you may wonder why there has been so little posted to our site.  Simply put: it’s all hands on deck behind the scenes.  Our refusal numbers in Central New York are through the roof.  The phone is ringing and emails are flying-all from parents wanting to know how to refuse the test.

We couldn’t be more pleased.  

Here are links to recent and local coverage of the growing “opt out” movement.

Parents weighing options on opting children out of state testing
WKTV, NewsChannel 2, Utica
March 26, 2014

Put the state system to the test by opting out
Utica Observer Dispatch
Guest editorial by Jessica McNair
March 26, 2014

Refusal to take state tests won’t impact students
Utica Observer Dispatch, Keshia Clukey
March 26, 2014

All Quiet? Quite the Opposite

The Sky: NOT Falling

Carol Burris reminds us to question what we hear, this time, in regards to the number of students requiring remedial courses in college.  In this Washington Post piece, Burris note, “The National Center for Educational Statistics provides a far more accurate picture of remedial rates than those the Common Core reformers would have the public believe. ”  Read more here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/03/17/are-american-students-grossly-unprepared-for-college/

The Sky: NOT Falling

NYSUT on ‘Sit and Stare’

Today NYSUT released a third statement condemning the practice of making students who refuse NYS grade 3-8 tests ‘sit and stare’ during the testing session rather than allow students to work quietly in a separate location or read quietly.  Read more here:

Statement from NYSUT, March 12, 2014

NYSUT has issued two previous statements about ‘sit and stare’.  They can be found here:
February 3rd Statement from NYSUT
March 2nd Statement from NYSUT

NYSUT on ‘Sit and Stare’

Bipartisan Bill from NY Rep. Gibson

Endorsed by the National Education Association, a bipartisan bill intended to reduce the number of standardized tests has gotten the attention of many in New York State.  Introduced by Representative Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), the bill would reduce testing to once per grade span.  Read more about the proposed changes here:

http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/03/11/reforming-reform-bill-aims-to-curb-high-stakes-testing-mandates.aspx?m=2#3fyyuHrtHG1zIxrh.99

Diane Ravitch calls it, “great news” on her blog, here.

Bipartisan Bill from NY Rep. Gibson

Cuomo’s Common Core Panel: Recommendations

The panel appointed by NY Governor Cuomo to review the state’s implementation of the Common Core Standards, released recommendations yesterday.  They can be found here.

A brief news roundup of reactions to the panel is found at the links below, most notably from panelist and teacher Todd Hathaway, who notes, “The report-and the process that produced it-is incomplete.”

Teacher on Common Core panel dissents; calls report ‘incomplete’
State Panel Issues Common Core Recommendations
Cuomo Panel Wants to Cut Ties with inBloom
Cuomo’s Common Core Panel: Back off from inBloom

Cuomo’s Common Core Panel: Recommendations