About 21-22% of eligible students in New York refused to take the state tests. That’s 230,000 students. That is a popular uprising.

In some districts, more students did not take the tests than did. The county with the highest opt-out rate was Suffolk, the east end of Long Island. There are two counties on Long Island: Suffolk and Nassau: the average opt-out rate was 49.6% for both.

In some small school districts, opting out has become the norm. The one with the highest opt out is in upstate, rural New York. According to Politico:

“Herkimer County’s Dolgeville school system again takes the title for highest opt-out rate in the state with 89 percent of students opting out of ELA, the same percentage it had in 2015.

Dolgeville was followed by Consewogue (84 percent), Plainedge (79 percent), Rocky Point (79 percent), Patchogue-Medford (77 percent), Sayville (77 percent) and Eastport/ South Manor (76 percent).”

Secretary of Education John King wants to punish schools and districts that do not have a 95% participation rate. Long Island is a politically powerful section of New York. The parents are not afraid of King. They weren’t afraid of him when he was New York’s Commissioner of Education. He hopes the movement will fade away. It hasn’t.

Politico reports:

“It is unclear whether the schools or districts with the highest opt-out rates will be sanctioned. The movement comes at a time when the U.S. Department of Education, led by former state education commissioner John King Jr., is trying to increase sanctions for those who don’t meet participation requirements through regulations under the broad federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

Under the new draft regulations, schools would face harsh penalties for not meeting the 95 percent participation requirements.

About 49.6 percent of third- through eighth-grade students didn’t take the ELA test on Long Island, the lowest participation rate in any of the state’s economic development regions. This was followed by 37.5 percent in the Mohawk Valley, 30.8 percent in Western New York, and 26.1 percent in the Mid-Hudson.”

The mass defiance of parents in New York raises questions: Can the state force parents to comply with its demands when there is no issue of health or safety involved? Can schools and districts be punished by the state for the actions of parents?