LOOK OUT!  If parents opt their children out, the Malloy administration will cut funding for poor children

Wait, What?

Just when it seemed that Governor Dannel Malloy’s arrogance and bullying couldn’t get any worse, Connecticut school officials have been told to instruct parents that they may not opt their children out of the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core Smarter Balanced Consortium Assessment (SBAC) or NEW SAT testing schemes.  The Malloy administration has said that if students aren’t forced to take these tests, local school districts will lose their Title 1 education funding.

Despite the fact that there is no law, regulation or legal policy that prevents parents from opting their children out of the destructive testing mania,  school superintendents and principals have been directed to do everything they can to prevent parents from standing up to protect their children.

The latest example of the Malloy administration’s campaign of intimidation and abuse comes from North Haven, where the superintendent of schools wrote to parents telling them that their children must take the Common Core tests.

Covering the development, the North Haven Citizen newspaper wrote;

Opting out of standardized tests is a popular experience for public school students and many North Haven students did just that when it came time to take the new SBAC test last year.

But North Haven Superintendent of Schools Robert Cronin encouraged parents to direct their children to take the test this year, making it the subject of his December letter to parents.

“In the past we honored opt outs because the test was in its infancy and still being developed. But it is developed now and we’re administering it this year and my job is to carry out state statutes.”

The key statute Cronin is following is the agreement to test 95 percent of students in affiliation with the federal No Child Left Behind law. While there are no state or federal laws that direct a student to take a standardized test, the town may lose state funding if students opt out.

[…]

“Our participation is monitored closely by the state Department of Education,” Cronin said. “There will be consequences for districts that don’t meet the participation rates and we could lose Title I funding that is currently over $300,000.”

North Haven’s Superintendent, Dr. Cronin, is correct about the approach that Governor Malloy’s administration is taking.

In an effort prevent parents from opting their children out of the Common Core tests, Malloy’s Commissioner of Education sent a memo to all school superintendents informing them that their school districts would loss some or all of their Title I money if they did not force 95 percent of their students to take the SBAC and SAT tests.

Title 1 is a federal grant that provides state governments with extra funds to give to local school districts to help pay for programs targeted at helping poor children do better in school.  The funding system was initially passed as part of President Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.

According to the most recent data available, the United States Department of Education adds;

“…more than 56,000 public schools across the country used Title I funds to provide additional academic support and learning opportunities to help low-achieving children master challenging curricula and meet state standards in core academic subjects. For example, funds support extra instruction in reading and mathematics, as well as special preschool, after-school, and summer programs to extend and reinforce the regular school curriculum.

That same year Title I served more than 21 million children. Of these students, approximately 59 percent were in kindergarten through fifth grade, 21 percent in grades 6-8, 17 percent in grades 9-12…”

Faced with the growing opposition to the Common Core testing scam that unfairly labels children as failures and is to be used to inappropriately assess teachers as part of Malloy’s teacher evaluation system, many parents are rightfully refusing to allow their children to participate in the Common Core testing farce.

In response, Governor Malloy, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman and their administration are ordering school districts to force students to take the tests or else…

Or else?

Or else Malloy’s Commissioner and his political appointees of the State Board of Education will cut the funding that school districts are required to use for, “additional academic support and learning opportunities to help low-achieving children master challenging curricula and meet state standards in core academic subjects. For example, their could be cuts to funds that support extra instruction in reading and mathematics, as well as special preschool, after-school, and summer programs to extend and reinforce the regular school curriculum.

It is unbelievable, but true!

Add this one to the growing list of reasons that more and more Americans have lost faith in their government officials…

Meanwhile, as the North Haven Citizen reports, school officials in the North Haven schools will be doing all they can to push students to take the Common Core SBAC and SAT tests.  As one North Haven principal explains;

“We’ll also offer incentives for completing the test, such as classroom awards or extended lunch times. We’re changing the overall environment for the test”

As for me up here in northeastern, Connecticut – “My daughter will not be taking the “state mandated” NEW SAT on March 2nd 2016.”

For more on the opt-out issue see the following Wait, What? blog posts;

Common Core testing frenzy leads to taxpayer funded SBAC Test Prep

ALERT – Lobbyists for the “Education Reformers” spend $1.9 million more in Connecticut.

CT Regional School District #7 succumbs to Common Core testing frenzy, throws their children under the bus.

Yet another warning about taking the state “mandated” NEW SAT on March 2, 2016

Malloy and Wyman – Montclair, N.J. public officials respect parents – why won’t you?

Malloy/Wyman moving forward with threats to punish schools districts that respect parents’ “opt-out” rights

ALERT – Malloy/Wyman attack on parents, students, teachers, public schools (and the “out-out” movement) is a national disgrace

  • cindy

    Sounds like we got a hostage situation here….give us what we want (“take the test, kiddies”) or someone is going to get hurt.

  • Bill Morrison

    II would love to see the Commissioner of Education or one of her lackeys go to a school and point a gun at the head of a student who simply refuses to take the test, or at least to try to strong-arm parents to force their children to take these tests. Unless physical force is somehow exerted, Malloy cannot compel anyone to do anything.
    And, in the case of New Haven, $300,000 really isn’t that much money. Hartford spends $380,000 just to call Jumoke Academy by that name; Hartford also spends that much to simply use the “Achievement First” moniker. I spoke out at the Board of Education meeting in Hartford last year when the Board voted to give TFA $680,000 over three years just to be able to do business with that dubious organization.
    Malloy can keep that Title I money. I will continue to encourage students to opt out!

    • Bill Adamsky

      I can’t believe these morons don’t understand this. This is not opting out, it’s refusal. If a parent refuses to seat their kid for these ridiculous tests, how are they going to force that kid to take it? Malloy and his clueless toadies are just fanning the Opt Out flames.

      • JMC

        Malloy and his creatures will employ the old grade school “shaming” method whereby if 2 children “misbehave” at recess, the whole class is denied recess for a week along with them. In lieu of denying children recess, Malloy and his flying monkeys will deny them funds. As many now know, Malloy is the chair of the Dem side of the National Governors Association, which owns, yes OWNS, the Common Core copyrighted standards on which this year’s “new” SAT is based.
        $Billions of dollars are in play. Follow the money.

        • Bill Morrison

          That’s why we call it the “Corporate Education Reform Movement”. It has nothing to do with closing the achievement gap. It is about sending billions of dollars to different politicians and their entourage, and to Pearson/Gates.

  • jhs

    Well at this point it sounds like the only thing that can stop Malloy are lawsuits and the courts.

    • Sleepless in Bridgeport

      Me thinks Tar and Feathers and ride out of Hartford on a Rail might suffice

  • Nick C.

    Thank you Jonathan for mentioning what’s happening here in North Haven. The administration’s actions, regardless of their rationale, mark a tipping point. It is a blatant disregard, by Boards of Education and Administrators, for the very people who have hired and/or elected them to represent the interests of the voting tax-payers and of the children. We parents refuse to give our consent for our children to be tested because we see our children being used as a means to grade districts, to evaluate teachers, and to determine whether districts will or will not get funding. That is not to mention the fact that these tests continue to measure unproven standards and are used as if they are valid. No where in this, in all the test prep, the lost instructional time, the professional development is there actually anything of educational value to my child.

    I too wrote an article in response to the North Haven Citizen article. If anyone is interested, it can be found at the following address http://nickfornorthhaven.com/systems/file_download.ashx?pg=131&ver=5

    • JMC

      Absolutely correct. And the SAT owners are now advertising that they can sell sophisticated student profiles to their commercial and university customers with all sorts of personal student data sliced, diced, and shuffled to enable the marketers to skew their sales pitches to their student targets. Of course the personal contact information of the students is part of the package.