Friday, May 08, 2015
The Racial And Income Composition In School Districts Affects The "Opt Out" Numbers.
The release of the student "opt out" numbers have slowed to a trickle as a clearly embarrassed NYSED has pressured the remaining school districts not to give out their "opt out" numbers. Despite the pressure from the NYSED, the State "opt out" numbers are slowly trickling in. The latest numbers are as follows:
The above values show that combined, a total of 283,000 students have "opted out". Moreover, when the NYSED eventually and reluctantly release the final "opt out" numbers, the number will soar over 300,000, which is well above the whisper number of 250,000 that the "opt out" organizations were predicting and over three times higher than the State was expecting.
The hotbed of the "opt out" movement was the solidly middle class communities in the New York City suburbs, especially Long Island. While the lowest "opt out" rates were in low income minority school districts. On Long Island I compared the various "opt out" numbers in Math from the different communities by income.
School District Income "Opt Out" %
Wyandanch Low 8.4%
Hempstead Low 3.4%
Elmont Low 5.9%
Roosevelt Low 7.9%
Comsewogue Middle 83.5%
Sayville Middle 74.6%
East Islip Middle 74.2%
Merrick Middle 70.1%
Jericho High 21.6%
Huntington High 24.1%
Roslyn High 32.6%
Syosset High 35.2%
The income (and racial) disparity is very evident as the solidly middle class communities in Long Island had "opt out" rates above 50% while the wealthier communities saw about a 25-35% "opt out" rate, or one in three or four. By contrast, the "opt out" rate in the poor minority communities were in the single digits. I can only speculate that poor minority parents didn't "opt out" their children either out of fear of being targeted, especially if the parents are undocumented, or they are not informed about how useless and time consuming the test is. In any rate the "opt out" rates in poor and minority communities are low.
It's very obvious that the better informed the parent is, the more likely they "opted out" their child from the useless State tests and this shows up in the "opt out" statistics. Maybe the NYSED and the politicians will come to realize that their top down management is not the answer to closing the academic achievement gap but I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen. For another take of how useless these State tests are, read the NYC Educator blog.