Review of Withholding Penalty History Confirms Threats Are Punitive And Improper: USDOE Is All Bark. No Bite.

Schools of Thought Hudson Valley, NY

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USDOE Is All Bark. No Bite.

In response to escalation of the opt out movement in New York State, now-former U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) Secretary Arne Duncan and others at the USDOE have advanced a litany of threats, warning that they will withhold Title 1 funding from states if they fail to comply with federal testing mandates, with the States, in turn, threatening to withhold Title 1 aid from school districts with high opt out numbers.

In the 2014-15 school year, about 20% of eligible New York students refused the grades 3-8 State math and ELA assessments being administered by public school districts across the State. In total, about 200,000 students refused the assessments, with some districts experiencing opt-out rates well above 50%.

MaryEllen Elia is the new Commissioner of the New York State Education Department (NYSED or SED).  Despite her various statements that acknowledge a parent’s right to…

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