The Brian Lehrer Show

Newsmakers meet New Yorkers as host Brian Lehrer and his guests take on the issues dominating conversation in New York and around the world. This daily program from WNYC Studios cuts through the usual talk radio punditry and brings a smart, humane approach to the day's events and what matters most in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, On the Media, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Nancy, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin and many others. © WNYC Studios


Testing Testing: Opting Out Is 'Trendy,' But Is It Fair?

Standardized testing begins this week for students in grades 3 through 8, who will be taking ELA (English Language Arts), starting on Tuesday. The math exams begin next week.

And as testing season begins so does the familiar battle between those parents who opt in for the test and those who have chosen to opt out.

Last year, 20 percent of students across the state opted out, mostly in schools serving wealthy families. This year leaders of the opt out movement are trying to reach a broader demographic. 

Tenicka Boyd, senior Director of Organizing for StudentsFirstNY who is also a public school parent, called in to explain why she wants children to take the test: "The test is a way to check in and see how the system is serving our students, specifically students of color." Tenicka called the opt out movement "trendy," especially in wealthier neighborhoods like "Park Slope," where kids are getting a reliable education.   

And parents call in to discuss whether they've decided to opt out or in. 

@BrianLehrer@NYCCouncil@HelenRosenthal Access to a high performing school with high standards should be in the parents bill of rights.

— Tenicka Boyd (@TenickaBoyd) April 4, 2016


 2016-04-04  23m