The desperation of the New York State Education Department to stop the Opt Out movement is boundless.

Newsday reports that the state may lower the rankings of schools with high numbers of opt out students, even though it knows that the schools are high performing schools.

There is nothing that State Commissioner MaryEllen Elia won’t do to force parents to sit their children down and make them take the state tests.


The state believes it must “deal with” these recalcitrant parents. It has never crossed Commissioner Elia’s mind that she should listen to the parents and find out why they won’t let their children take these pointless tests, that provide no diagnostic information to teachers or parents or students.

A statewide effort to deal with massive student test boycotts has sparked debate in the Island Park school district, where officials contend that one of their schools could face academic sanctions because of opt-outs there.

Island Park’s school superintendent, Rosmarie Bovino, recently posted a letter on the district’s website advising residents that Lincoln Orens Middle School was in danger of being placed on an upcoming state list of schools regarded as low academic performers.

Under a new state rating system that is based largely on test performance, such schools will be designated as requiring comprehensive support and improvement, or CSI. The state Education Department is expected to release names of the first group of schools as early as next week.

A note to the parents who opt out their children. Please remember that Commissioner Elia works for YOU. You do not work for her. Please remember that you pay her salary. She is not your boss. Please remember that the Pierce Decision of 1925 by the Supreme Court declared that your children belong to you, not the State, and the State has no power to standardize them.