Three Ideas for Educational Change in New York: Testing Schedule, Formal Opt-Out, Budget Lines

Here’s my ideas for impacting immediate educational change in New York State that I am willing to pursue with the appropriate elected officials.

Formal Testing Schedule
1. Mandate that districts provide a formal testing schedule to parents each year. This would include all tests used to evaluate the schools, teachers, admin and students where the results, or data collected, are sent to the State Ed Office. Field testing would be included as part of this schedule. We would not need a list of any summative, end-of-unit type, tests.

Formal Parental Opt-Out
2. Provide a formal means for parents to direct the schooling of their children by permitting parental opt-out of high-stakes state assessments and other factors that influence.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that parents posses the “fundamental right” to “direct the upbringing and education of their children.” Furthermore, the Court declared that “the child is not the mere creature of the State: those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right coupled with the high duty to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” (Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-35) The Supreme Court criticized a state legislature for trying to interfere “with the power of parents to control the education of their own.” (Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 402.) In Meyer, the Supreme Court held that the right of parents to raise their children free from unreasonable state interferences is one of the unwritten “liberties” protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (262 U.S. 399).

In recognition of both the right and responsibility of parents to control their children’s education, the Court has stated, “It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for the obligations the State can neither supply nor hinder.” (Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158)

New Budget Guidelines
3. Mandate that districts create a new line items in the budget that clearly show how much money is spent towards the investigation, implementation, and administration of state mandated testing and teacher/principal evaluations. This would include accounting for all costs associated with implementing these tests and evaluations including, but not limited to: trips outside of the district to learn about, score, or administer the tests, acquisition of testing materials, providing subs to cover teachers and admins who leave the building for testing or eval purposes, time to input any data into a data collection mechanism, etc.

Leave a comment


  1. Deborah

     /  November 3, 2013

    Please check your “other” folder on FB.

  2. Deborah

     /  November 2, 2013

    I support you. However, there are several typos here. I want you to be taken seriously… so please edit. The most glaring is in point #2. It is not the “US Constitution” that states these things. It is the various holdings of the Supreme Court of the United States. If you want to discuss privately with me, feel free to do so.

    • Hi, thanks for the comment. You are correct and I fixed the mistake. That’s what I get for blogging late at night. Where are the other typos? -Brian


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