There now is no reason not to override Markell’s veto of HB50.
The past reasons, that it would damage education; that it would hurt Civil Rights, that it would restrict federal funding, that it would be damaging for the child, are as of its passage, superfluous.
Instead, the ESEA now gives states all rights on how to handle opt out. They still require 95% compliance on students taking the test, but the state has the right to decide how to now define compliance.
So simply put, the state can establish a formal deadline for opt-out, as it does for school choice, and all those registered before deadline are eliminated from the pool of 100%… The compliance figure will then only then be based on the percent taking the test of the number of students who chose not to opt out,… it should be over 95% without problem.
Would hurt Civil Rights? The antiqued concern is that back when separate but equal ruled, they were separate, but not equal. Funding for black schools was cut or moved to white schools. Educational opportunity between races was not equal. Today’s mandatory testing, …by forcing people to notice the inequality caused by poverty and prejudice, helps resources flow to areas of need. Civil rights leaders were concerned that without tests, the glaring inconsistencies again get pasted over and ignored, and black education again becomes inferior.
But with the ESEA, comes new money for programs other than academics that are desperately needed. Early Ed, Afternoon School, Daycare till single moms get off work. etc. The real needs now have money. Whether a student opts out or not in the inner city, now has no consequence on the flow of money to its schools. That is set in stone.
Likewise the fear that high opt outs would restrict Federal Funding. That bluff was called and New York verified that despite almost 50% opt out levels, full funding hit each school. As of passage and signing, funding is divorced from test scores. High or low participation, the funding is consistent. The argument that something bad could happen if opt out gathered steam has evaporated completely, even though no evidence was ever there prior…
The idea that opting out could be damaging for the child’s record is now gone. States no longer are committed to sticking to the PAARC or Smarter Balanced. They can all make up their own. In fact, expect a large push in Delaware to scrap this SBA and return to something similar to the DCAS, a great test if something could ever be called that…
Prior to this we always said: if you want to end the opt-out movement, end the Smarter Balanced Assessment. That was the driver infuriating people enough to opt out their child! If any opt out movement existed prior, it was very quiet… Anyone ever hear of an opt-out movement for the DCAS?
The entire function of the test is now eliminated. The test was purposefully designed not to benefit each child taking it. Whereas comparatively, the DCAS test could be used immediately to provide feedback to the student still fresh from taking it, the Smarter Balanced results emerged the following school year and gave nothing but a numerical score, one that was isolated, scaled differently from any other testing score, past or present…. with as much credibility as a lottery ball dispenser machine spitting out a random number ball and that becomes your score…
The test was to be used to fire teachers and to fire principals and to close schools by forcing scores to remain below a fake bar of proficiency. A bar set so high, even professional adults failed to best it. With passage of the ESEA, test scores will NOT to be the make-or-break main method of accountability…
As of passage, there is absolutely no reason for a child to waste any time on the Smarter Balanced Assessment. It does not help him. It does not hold anyone accountable, so really, why take it?
Parents as outlined in the ESEA have full right to determine their child’s education. They are first line of defense.
HB 50 just makes this official… it provides backing so if a school is unfortunate to have a Principal Edward R. Rooney (Ferris Beullar’s Day Off) who breaks into your home to make your child take the test (practice your karate skills), you have backing to continue your right to opt out…..
Which is exactly why that protection needs to be reinforced… Oregon passed Opt-Out and will function fine under the ESEA….
The real issue behind HB50 is who will ultimately decide policy for the state: a governor who seems to be under the spell of Wall Street… or 62 individually elected representatives, each who live and shop in the districts that elected them, who all voted with the will of the people…?
That is why first order of business needs to be over-riding the HB50 veto which now though a perfunctory exercise, has profound symbolic and strategic value as future serious issues pop up in 2016 on which the Governor’s current actions bely him to be standing solidly on the wrong side….