ALBANY, N.Y. Sept. 14, 2018 — New York State United Teachers today commended the Board of Regents for reversing harmful draft regulations on test participation in order to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. NYSUT said:
“Parents and educators spoke passionately and the Regents listened. We commend Chancellor Rosa and the Regents for that. As a result of today’s actions, schools with high opt-out rates will be treated more fairly — a victory for the hundreds of NYSUT members who opposed the draft regulations and defended parents’ right to opt their children out without penalty or pressure. While this is an important step forward, our fight is not over. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is clearly misinterpreting federal law by requiring the state to identify schools with high opt-out rates. No school should face any sanction — or the stigma of being placed on a state list of academically deficient schools — because parents refuse to have their children take flawed and misused state standardized tests.”
- The Regents rejected regulations that would have wrongly diverted federal Title I funds from students attending schools with a less than 95 percent participation rate.
- In addition, the Regents significantly improved upon the draft regulations and will now allow schools with high opt-out numbers to ‘leave’ state accountability lists if they are otherwise high-performing.
- U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is clearly misinterpreting the intent of ESSA. The U.S. Education Dept. has wrongly concluded that states must identify schools with participation rates below 95 percent, ignoring federal law that explicitly grants parents the right to opt their children out of state tests. We believe the USDOE letter ties the hands of state policymakers.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.