The Malloy Administration’s Big Lie: Parents Can’t Opt Out.

Governor Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor and his band of corporate education industry reforms continue their crusade to persuade Connecticut parents that they don’t have the right to opt out their children from the Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Field Test.

Pryor claims that federal and state laws trump parental rights.

He is lying…

And he knows it…

But neither Governor Malloy, Attorney General Jepsen nor the General Assembly will stand up for Connecticut’s parents.

And the majority of public school superintendents are carrying Pryor’s water rather than doing what is right for Connecticut’s parents, students and teachers.

Just up the road in Massachusetts, local boards of education are fighting back against a similar campaign of deceit.

As Diane Ravitch reported today,

“The school committee of Tantasqua, Massachusetts, voted to permit parents to opt their children out of the PARCC tests.  [There are actually two versions of the Common Core Test, the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) and PARCC]. [Per a reader, Tantasqua, Massachusetts. It is a school district within the town of Boylston].

In doing so, Tantasqua joins the school committees of Worcester and Norfolk, which reached the same decision.

The state department of education has opposed opting out, but the school committees are not following orders.

The Tantasqua vote was close, 8-7, and the deciding vote was cast by the chair of the committee, Michael J. Valanzola.

He said:

“It reaches the point of exhaustion, relative to the mandates from the state. Every time you turn around, there are new requirements on our school district but no money to back them up,” Mr. Valanzola said after the meeting. “And, for me, this sends a message that we are tired of the mandates and, ultimately, we are a School Choice district that believes in choice. Choice should rest with the parents and their right to be engaged in the process.” 

On Feb. 11, the Norfolk School Committee sent the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education a letter saying it would let parents decide for their children whether they will participate in the PARCC test. On March 6, the Worcester School Committee agreed to send a letter to the state similar to Norfolk’s. 

Here at Wait,What? we have asked the question repeatedly.

Is there no one in authority that has the courage and conviction to stand up against the outrageous, inappropriate and illegal dictates of the Malloy Administration?

Is there truly no one who will say enough is enough?

For more background read some of the earlier Wait, What? posts:

Pryor: Enough! Read the statute and back off the lie that students must take the common core test


Malloy, Pryor, Superintendents – Stop lying about the Common Core Smarter Balanced Field!


Who on earth would require HS juniors to take the Common Core Field Test in the spring?

Would one of the top four leaders of the Connecticut General Assembly please stand up?


  • cindy

    What Pryor, Taylor and others, include those in our district have said repeatedly is that is we fall under 95% participation, we are at risk of losing funding from the federal government.

    Can anyone confirm this in any way? Are they saying 95% participation in a “field test” will get us some funding? What exactly are the risks of not participating??? No one is being honest.

    • Sleepless in Brigeport

      “No One is being honest” should rank right up there with E Pleribus Unim. Or Connecticuts version of Live Free or Die: Iss up or fuck up.

    • guest

      Taylor said at the CCSS hearing that if there were ever repercussions for falling below the 95% participation level, they would not occur for a very long time

  • buygoldandprosper

    Don’t hold your breath for change. Dan does not back down. He is a self-righteous, egotistical block head who believes that if he espouses something, it must be right.
    The only hope, for change, is to send Dan away by voting him out.

  • buygoldandprosper
    • JMC

      Conclusions on P. 34, the CCSS portion of the Brookings piece: “The Brown Center Report predicted, based on empirical analysis of the effects of state standards, that the CCSS will have little to no effect on student achievement [supporters of CCSS argue otherwise] … So far at least – and it is admittedly the early innings of a long ballgame – there are no signs of such an impressive accomplishment.”

  • Mary Gallucci

    Test pilots, field tests, tests of tests… Windham has it all, especially since Stephen Adamowski came to town. And let’s not forget pilots of teacher evaluations–it’s all a work in progress. But now the state’s Attorney General wants the teacher evals from the “lowest performing schools”–we all knew this was primarily a divide-and-conquer strategy–endless testing and infinite evaluations are for poor districts only–get the message? wink, wink, nudge, nudge. I see this as the typical strong-armed techniques of the privatizers–Farmington and Greenwich, you will have nothing to worry about, so stop griping about Common Core–Windham, Bridgeport, Hartford, and the “alliance districts”–get to steppin’! get in line! hand over those “teacher evaluations.” see here:

    • jrp1900

      Mary Gallucci: If only the rest of the State had paid attention to what Adamowski was doing in Windham. Because he had a completely free hand, as the so-called “Special Master,” Adamowksi was able to impose every reform in the corporate reform playbook. Vouchers, charters, themed academies, “school choice,” TFA–Windham got it all. And on top of all this, Windham got tests and tests. It’s now clear that Windham was viewed by Adamowski (and his sponsors) as a laboratory for pure reform. Thank God, the rule of the Special Master in Windham is coming to an end!

    • Mary Gallucci