Oregon’s Democrat Governor, Kate Brown, has signed the Opt Out bill. HB2655 makes schools responsible for giving parents accurate information about the Smarter Balanced assessment, its uses, and their right to opt their child out of the test with no reason needed.
Earlier in June the feds threatened the loss of federal funding to the Oregon department of education if our Opt Out numbers kept rising. Many feared Governor Brown would not sign the bill because all signs point to her being in support of the new Common Core.
So it is with little fanfare that HB2655 was signed into law and an interesting statement made by Brown after the signing. She warns that participation in the tests are crucial to success and implores teachers and administrators to let parents know how important it is that they participate and know the consequences if enough parents opt out and participation diminishes, including the loss of funding.
In short, Brown signed the bill although if you listen to her press office, she doesn’t like the bill. Her statement practically begs people not to opt out.
Many people with their eye on the ball in Oregon are not breathing easier. In fact, people are holding their breath waiting to see what exactly is going to happen. We have a short session coming up in 2016 and if Oregon is famous for anything it’s for bait and switch bills and completely undoing previous sessions’ work in a short session.
Not only that but many education watchers have read the bill and feel something is off. Something smells here in Oregon, and though it’s stinky, we don’t exactly know what it is yet.