Michael Elliott is a gifted videographer who has made videos for parents who protest testing. He knows the issues: his own children are in public school in Brooklyn.

 

In this post, he explains why opt out numbers were very low in New York City, while parents in the rest of the state were refusing to let their children take the state tests. Statewide, more than 220,000 students did not take the state tests in 2015, about 20% of students statewide. In New York City, the opt outs were only 1.4%.

 

Elliott explains the difference. Students in low-performing schools have the possibility of school closure hanging over their heads. If they opt out, their school might close.

 

Students in other schools need test scores to be admitted to a junior high school or high school of their choice (and they might not get their choice anyway, since the city has a convoluted system based on admissions to medical schools).

 

Fear suppressed the New York City opt outs.

 

Interesting that when you think about the number of opt outs in the rest of the state–excluding NYC–the proportion rises dramatically. Maybe 30% or more of the kids outside NYC opted out. No wonder the politicians in Albany are running scared and trying to allay the concerns of the angry parents on Long Island, upstate, and in the Hudson Valley.