Opt-Outs Hit The Times, Pre-K, And Finland Myths V. Reality

The Times looks at opt-outs and teachers unions. Inside baseball: The way they ID Stand For Children* is delightfully reductionist. Would the story have read differently if they ID’d it instead as an organization that supports expanding access to pre-K education and reforming school finance to send more dollars to poor students? Those are true, too. Sometimes the battle lines aren’t so stark…

Speaking of pre-K for a project I was rereading this brief on pre-K from CAP. Vox-like case for why expanding pre-k makes sense. Useful.

Mike Antonucci called attention to this sensible walk-through of the Finland hype from Cambridge Assessment.

*How do I know their policy views offhand? Longtime Bellwether policy research client.

2 Replies to “Opt-Outs Hit The Times, Pre-K, And Finland Myths V. Reality”

  1. As is usual, Mr. Rotherham misses the point. Whether it is deliberate or not doesn’t matter.
    The sole complaint Mr. Rotherham has about the Times story is their description of Stand For Children. The more important point is the framing of the opt-out issue, one that Mr Rotherham dismissed over at US News and World Report in the manner of Arne Duncan’s classist and sexist dismissal of Common Core critics last year.
    For NYT (and Mr. Rotherham and his coterie) it is important to turn the opt -out into an attack on teacher unions.
    For a view of opt-out that is closer to the ground, and thus more based in reality, read here:
    State tests making rebels of parents

  2. NY: Opt Out More Popular Than Charter Schools
    The number of students opting out of the Big Standardized Test in New York State is still fluid, and we’ll have more numbers shortly when this week’s BS Test in mat inspires families to keep children out of the test-taking mess.

    But a fair middle-of-the-road estimate would seem to be 175,000 students who chose not to take the BS Test.


    On a whim, I went looking for the number of charter school students in New York State. I found this number for the 2013-2014 school year in the report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, a group that certainly has no reason to low-ball the number of charter students. Here’s the number.


    New York leaders like Andrew Cuomo and Merryl Tisch have been vocal in their support of vocals. Back when Bill DeBlasio was daring to stand in the way of charter expansion, Andrew Cuomo stood up at a charter rally to defend the charters and declare their importance to the state’s education.

    Those 91,813 students were deemed worthy of being defended by the governor of the state:

    “We are here today to tell you that we stand with you,” Mr. Cuomo said. “You are not alone. We will save charter schools.”

    So my question is this: if 91,813 students deserve the full-throated defense of Governor Cuomo for their educational choices, then how soon can we expect him to stand up for the educational choices of the 175,000? If this week’s numbers hit the projection of 200,000, will he be twice as vocal in defense of twice as many students?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.