The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

NYS ed commissioner threatens schools, parents over Common Core opt-out numbers

NYS ed commissioner threatens schools, parents over Common Core opt-out numbers

It’s how Democrats do business in the Obama era. Any time schools, parents, and students mount a protest to the Common Core standards and testing in New York state, two things happen. Supporters threaten them with funding sanctions, and they redouble efforts to explain why Common Core is such a good thing for kids. Because, you know, parents are just too stupid to know what’s good for their kids.

Now that new state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has stepped in, it’s “next-verse-same-as-the-first” time in New York. She recently responded to the news that 20% of student in New York otped out of the Common Core tests.

Via Politico New York:

Individual schools could lose funding if large numbers of students opt out of state standardized tests in April, state education commissioner MaryEllen Elia said on Wednesday.

Of the 1.1 million students eligible to take state exams in math and English language arts exams this year, nearly 20 percent, or 200,000 students, opted out.

The state Education Department is in conversations with the U.S. Department of Education working on a plan regarding possible sanctions for districts with high opt-out rates, Elia said.

In the conference call with reporters, Elia said the sanctions weren’t clearly defined and could simply consist of a phone call to superintendents asking what happened and what they plan to do differently next year. But it’s also possible that federal Title I funds will be withheld, she said.


Assemblyman Steve McLaaughlin (R) explains that these threats are nothing new.

As Fred LeBrun wrote, the former education commissioner, John King, Jr., spent much of his tenure “pretending to listen, but he kept at it.”

Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan did the same, threatening schools time and again should the students rebel and opt out of the testing. He told parents that the feds would “have an obligation to step in,” even implying that they were racist for even thinking about opting out.

It looks like more of the same with Elia. And here is her tired response in having to re-educate the parents on the Common Core standards, via the Poughkeepsie Journal:

We must … do a better job of explaining to parents the benefits of higher standards and annual testing.

McLaughlin tweeted that perhaps it’s time to listen to the parents instead of trying to force a change of mind.

Instead, it’s the same ol, same ol’ with education in New York state.

Cross-posted at the Mental Recession

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is editor of the Mental Recession, one of the top conservative blogs of 2012. His writings have appeared at the Daily Caller, American Thinker,, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record.


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