Hello, parents of New York, you have the right to opt your child out of state testing. So says the State Superintendent MaryEllen Elia.

Forget what you heard last week about threats and sanctions. That was then. This is now.

” State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia says she won’t prevent parents who want their children to skip the state’s standardized tests from doing so. The commissioner detailed her views on the controversial Opt Out movement in an interview with public radio and television….

“Commissioner Elia says parents “absolutely” have the right to opt their kids out of state standardized tests, but she says she still wants to talk to them to try to bring them back to the fold.

“We haven’t done enough communication,” Elia said. “But if parents understand it and they still want their child to opt out, that certainly is their right.”

“Robert Lowry, the spokesman for the New York State Council of School Superintendents, says some superintendents did indeed ask for help. Others are trying on their own to convince students to participate. But he says many more believe that the tests themselves are fundamentally flawed.

“The real issue is that the tests have to change,” Lowry said. “Parents are upset for a reason.”

“Lowry says the preparations was not well thought out, and schools get too little information on results too late.”

This is a work in progress.

Message to parents: do what you think is best for your child.