Will Duncan send in SWAT teams with Glocks to force opt-out parents and their kids, including his favorite target, “white suburban moms,” to take the test or else?

The public backlash against end-of-year tests specifically aligned with Common Core standards has Education Secretary Arne Duncan doubling down. The Secretary is threatening federal intervention if testing boycotts continue. Duncan told reporters at the Education Writers Association seminar in Chicago this past week, if students and parents continue to opt out of government-mandated tests there will be consequences.

As for opt-outs, Duncan said, “states are supposed to work with districts” on meeting a requirement in the NCLB law that 95 percent of students participate in tests. “But if states don’t do whatever then we have an obligation to step in… this is really about not just an assessment…it’s about a civil rights issue.”

Duncan doesn’t indicate what measures his department will use to enforce those rights in order to prevent schools from opting out. Already, an education advocacy group says over 180,000 New York State students refused to take the Common Core English Language Arts Exam in April.

At Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Washington not a single 11th grade student showed up to take the federally mandated Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exam (SBAC). Earlier this year, teachers at Nathan Hale passed a resolution against the Common Core Standards test, but Seattle Superintendent Larry Nyland threatened them with the loss of their teaching licenses if they didn’t administer the test.

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