Nicholas Tampio is a professor of political science in New York, and a parent of children in public schools.

He warns that the State Education Department has a campaign to stop opt out from testing, based on bullying and intimidation.

He writes:

“All across New York, superintendents and principals have sent versions of the following statements to parents whose children are in grades 3-8 and are scheduled to take Common Core tests:

*Students who are still working on their exams will be allowed to continue to work, within the confines of the regular school day, beyond the recommended testing times.

*There are fewer questions on the test.

*The tests have been thoroughly reviewed and constructed by New York State educators to ensure they measure what students are learning in the classroom.

*Student performance of the 2017 Grades 3-8 ELA and Mathematics Tests will have no employment-related consequences for teacher and principal evaluations.

“The New York State Department of Education Assessment Toolkit provides all of these points in its sample superintendent letter to parents. Dutifully, administrators across the state are transcribing these statements and putting their own signatures on letters to parents.

“Test-refusing families rarely make the first three points. Few parents want their elementary school child to spend the whole school day taking a standardized test. According to the toolkit, the 2017 tests will have the same number of test questions as the 2016 tests (clearly this point did not impress parents last year). And classroom teachers did not make the tests for their students; someone else did (it doesn’t matter if they are in New York or not).

“This toolkit takes on imaginary opponents rather than test-refusing families or scholars such as Carol Burris or Diane Ravitch.

“The reason that parents are refusing the tests, as a rule, is because they don’t want school to be taking or preparing for standardized tests on computers in two or three academic subjects. That is a miserable conception of education that educated and powerful parents do not want for their own children.”