Central School District instructing myself and of course others to go to the HCSD website to find out information about the effects of opting out. Nowhere in the message did Dr Wool say anything about whether one should or the consequences of opting out. His robocall was quite ambiguous. It only asked the listener to go to this page on the HCSD website (Strange now how The Crack Team has noticed there is no link on the front page of the website to the Testing FAQ as there was yesterday).
One would notice whilst perusing that page this;
School district officials are bound by an oath of office to comply with all NYS regulations, including testing requirements. Neither the law nor the State commissioner's regulations provide any legal right or method for students to “opt-out “of the mandated assessments. New York State does not have a statutory opt-out provision and the State commissioner's regulations do not permit opting out except under specific exceptions, such as those involving students with disabilities.
Lots of scary words. Yes, we understand that district officials are bound by oath (Is there really an oath?), but are parents.
So we got in touch with Lisa Rudley from NYSAPE.org (New York State Allies for Public Education) We asked her about these so called scare tactics and among the items she emailed The Crack Team is the School Administrator's Guide Manual for the exams it says;
Except as noted below (Which is basically about ELL's-The Crack Team's added this), all public and charter school students in Grades 3–8 must take all State tests administered for their grade level.
See this bothers me. Stuff like this will have me having a coffee klatsch for Ted Cruz very soon. I am not anti-government and believe that government can do good, but come on! I am not as liberal or progressive as I used to be, I like to call myself a left of center libertarian, but if this state mandating my child and others continues I will donate to Ted Cruz!
But there is more!
According to this memo (Thanks to Lisa again!) Steven E Katz, the Director of Assessment for the SED which was sent to all superintendents statewide;
Tests are considered part of a “course of study” under a board’s authority and, as noted above, are included as part of the program requirements for students in Grades 3–8 under Sections 100.3 and 100.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.How are tests a course of study? The "Board" has more authority over my kid than do I?
Who is telling the truth here? The State or the parents who wish to opt out their children? Will the officers from the Harrison Police Department come to my house Tuesday morning to arrest me and my wife? Will my son be arrested or taken from us? What is a parent to do?
A parent should read this letter sent to the community of Saugerties NY by NYSAPE p3wning the argument of Saugerties Central School District Superintendent Seth Turner as to why students must take the exam.
Isn't it time we as parents, community members, educators call Cuomo's bluff (In 2016) and Uncle Arne's bluff and just turn down the monies that we are being blackmailed with? Yea, it will be tough at first but the Legislature will soon grow a set.
Parents are the #1 source of a child's education. We know, along with local control of school districts, what is best for our children. Only we can decide, not a mean, angry man in Albany along with his donor buddies and lackies in the Legislature. This foolishness ends this year.
There is still time to opt out of the exams. Go over to NYSAPE, get the sample letter and email it post-haste to your child's principal! Only in numbers are we a force. Only in numbers do we weaken Governor Andy.
And don't forget to listen to me on the Bob Marrone Morning Show this Tuesday morning at 6:30AM EDT on WFAS-AM 1230 as I will discuss testing and opting out. You can call in at 914-693-5700.
Also listen for NYSAPE public service announcement on WCBS-AM 880 and WINS 1010.