Despite a major effort by state and federal officials to threaten or cajole parents to let their children take the tests, despite a media campaign by corporate reformers to persuade parents that testing is good, the New York opt out movement is back again. A Twitter site created by reformers (@optoutsowhite) mocked the opt out as being the white suburban moms that Arne Duncan ridiculed. A parent (@africaisacountry) responded with #optoutmademewhite.

Carol Burris reports here on the first returns.

The effort to stop opt out failed, she writes.

“The campaign had little, if any, effect. In some schools, only a handful of students took the test. Eighty-seven percent of the students in Allendale Elementary School outside of Buffalo, New York opted out. Eighty-six percent of test eligible students in the Long Island district of Comsewogue refused the test, and 89 percent of students in Dolgeville in the Mohawk Valley said “no.”

“Long Island continues to be the hotbed of testing resistance. Newsday reported that 49.7 percent of all Long Island students refused the test Tuesday even though the Newsday editorial board has repeatedly urged parents to have their children take it. Patchogue-Medford Superintendent Michael J. Hynes characterized Opt Out as “a thunderclap” sent to Albany. Seventy-one percent of the students in his district refused the Common Core tests.

“There is also evidence that the Opt Out movement is gaining ground with parents of color, with many no longer willing to buy the spin that taking Common Core tests will improve their children’s life chances.

“Ninety-seven percent of the more than 1,000 students who attend Westbury Middle School in Nassau County are black or Latino, and 81 percent are economically disadvantaged. On Tuesday, 50 percent of those students were opted out of the tests by their parents. Last year, the number was 2 percent.

“Last week, Westbury parents filled a forum sponsored by Long Island Opt Out in order to learn how to refuse the test. When a district official tried to convince those in attendance that testing helps improve educational opportunities for minority students, one mother pushed back. “Don’t you dare tell parents that these tests will help them… these tests tear our kids down. They don’t lead to success.”

Jamaal Bowman is the principal of Cornerstone Academy for Social Action, a highly regarded middle school in the Bronx. Ninety nine percent of his students are black or Latino and 84 percent are economically disadvantaged. Last year, only 5 of his students refused the test. On Tuesday, 25 percent opted out.”