On Thursday, we will see new opt out legislation from State Rep. John Kowalko. It will be very similar to House Bill 50 but it will have a different number. I thought they would retire that number after the last go-around with opt out. Will House Bill #60something have a shot with Markell gone if the General Assembly passes it? Would Governor Carney sign it? Are parents still opting out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment? It doesn’t begin again until March so if parents are thinking about it, we won’t hear much noise until February. I still fervently support opt out as a parental choice and feel there should be legislation to codify that right. I already have a few ideas for a potential amendment but I’m holding that one very close to see how the response to the bill goes.
I will support this bill in its entirety. I will write about it and campaign for its passage. I don’t know if I will be as heavily involved in it as I was two years ago. But most of the legwork has already happened. House Bill 50 brought opt out into daily language in the First State. Markell fighting it most likely caused opt out numbers to increase. Some have (I believe correctly) surmised that ed reformers wanted opt out at some levels. Plans have been afoot to create stealth tests in a personalized learning environment. These would most likely be in the form of end-of-unit tests but it would still be the state assessment, just taken throughout the year. That could be a tough nut to crack. But all nuts have some crackability. You just have to find the right tool.