He and his co-host say they just can't tell exactly why parents are doing this. They opine that it can't be because Common Core testing is costing so much the arts are being cut (surmising that "affluent" schools just can't be cutting the arts).
They fret over this "big deal now" and what if it spreads nationwide? He says:
If this goes national, this whole school reform thing is in serious trouble."
Sorry, Mike, the genie is out of the bottle.
Speaking of Ravitch, she also has news from Minneapolis via the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
She gives several reasons why parents are opting out (really, it's no mystery but the corporate ed reformers make it sound like it is).
The newest math scores for Minneapolis South High School’s 11th-graders plunged more than 25 percentage points compared with 2013. At Southwest High School, scores dropped 22 points over the same period.
The dramatic fall off at two of Minneapolis’ best schools is not because of a crisis of academic achievement, but rather historic numbers of top students who are exercising a little-known right to opt out of standardized tests.
Parents know that the absence of transparency by the test-makers in not in the interest of their children and that the tests are designed to fail the majority of students because their passing score is set unrealistically high. Some parents understand that the tests provide little or no diagnostic information about their children (most Common Core tests provide NO diagnostic information, just a score.) Some are protesting the Common Core, some are protesting the federal takeover of their state and their local schools. Some are protesting the tests themselves.The NY Times also has a good debate in Room for Debate between Patricia Levesque who works for Jeb Bush's "Foundation for Excellence in Education" and Kevin Welner, the director of the National Education Policy Center.
I made a comment where I call out one of Ms. Levesque's paragraphs.
"We do this by determining what children need to know, not what we think they can learn based on their circumstances. We then measure their progress and hold adults in the system accountable for doing their job. "
And there you have it - testing's not-so-subtle backstory.
That first sentence is a backhanded way to try to make anyone who argues against the current testing craze sound like they believe poor kids can't learn. No one is saying that.
The second sentence in that paragraph? It's about teachers. Are we putting measures in place to judge principals and superintendents on these test scores? No.