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In New York, several school districts announced an “opt in” policy for state testing, led by the Ossining School District. The deal: If parents want their children to take the tests, they must write a letter asking for them to “opt in.” Other districts followed. Now the entire state of New York will allow districts to have an “opt in” policy. If parents want their child tested, it will be done. If they don’t, they don’t have to “opt out” or do anything. Some districts may prefer to stick with the old way of requiring everyone to take the tests.
This is a remarkable turn of events!
The U.S. Department of Education has denied waivers to states that don’t want to administer the tests. This was an incredibly tone-deaf decision that brought an outcry from educators and parents, who know it is unfair to administer standardized tests in the midst of a pandemic. During the campaign, candidate Joe Biden promised to get rid of the annual standardized tests. But his test-happy minions in the Department of Education issued a decision breaking his promise, even before Secretary Cardona was confirmed. He has had to explain and try to justify an very bad decision.
May New York’s Opt-In strategy travel far and wide!