New York State Opt-out and the ESSA Title I Showdown
On August 01, 2016, the New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) offered this press release regarding New York students in grades 3 through 8 opting out of the state’s Common Core-associated tests in math and English language arts (ELA).
The NYSAPE press release begins as follows:
This past Friday afternoon, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) released the results of the 2016 NYS Common Core 3-8 ELA and math results. Despite expensive ad campaigns from Gates-funded advocacy groups and the distribution of “Anti Opt-out” toolkits by Commissioner Elia aimed at persuading parents to opt in to state tests, the test non-participation rate increased from 20 percent last year to 22 percent. [Emphasis added.]
One could think of the opt out percentages in terms of test takers: 80 percent in 2015, and 78 percent in 2016.
Of course, when it comes to states’ applying to the US Department of Education (USDOE) for Title I funding, the magic number indicating what Congress has determined to be the minimum percentage of eligible test takers completing those state-level math and ELA tests is 95 percent.
According to a USDOE letter sent to the New York “Chief State School Officer” on December 22, 2015 (following that 80 percent test completion rate), USDOE stated possible actions for 2015-16 testing that did not meet the prescribed 95 percent threshold:
If a State with participation rates below 95% in the 2014−2015 school year fails to assess at least 95% of its students on the statewide assessment in the 2015−2016 school year, ED (USDOE) will take one or more of the following actions: (1) withhold Title I, Part A State administrative funds; (2) place the State’s Title I, Part A grant on high-risk status and direct the State to use a portion of its Title I State administrative funds to address lowNew York State Opt-out and the ESSA Title I Showdown | deutsch29: