From the Morning Memo:

Having children opt out of Common Core-based standardized tests could do long-term harm, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul warned on Wednesday while in western New York.

“I understand the stress, I’m a parent I know what it was like,” Hochul told reporters during a stop in Williamstown. “The truth is, I think if you hold you’re children back from this kind of participation, it could be doing them a disservice. But if they want to make an individual decision going down that path, there are consequences in the future that I’d be concerned about.”

The statewide teachers union and its allies are encouraging parents to not have their children participate in this month’s round of standardized testing following state lawmakers approved new teacher evaluation criteria backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Hochul pointed to potential funding that is tied to taking state-based tests, which teachers unions officials deny.

At the same time, there’s a broader competition between New York students and children elsewhere.

“If people opt out all across the state that money is in jeopardy, number one,” she said. “Number two, I want to make sure our kids can win in this competition. It won’t be long before the Common Core methodology and standards will part of the SAT entrance exams.”

She added: “I don’t want our kids to be at a disadvantage. We are in a very competitive environment nationally, not just internationally.”

The growing “opt-out” movement includes a legislative push to have the state Department of Education notify parents of their rights to have students not participate in the tests and is expected to be a dominate debate when lawmakers return to the Capitol later this month.

So far, the opt-out effort has grown to include the New York State United Teachers Union and their allies at the Alliance for Quality Education, the Working Families Party and Citizen Action.

The approved budget would evaluate teachers based on one test, plus in-classroom observation. Local bargaining units can negotiate to include a second test that would be chosen by the state.

NYSUT President Karen Magee acknowledged last month that if enough students choose to not take the test, the results would be diluted enough to not provide a usable analysis for evaluation.

The approved education measure in the budget did include pledges to reduce standardized testing in classrooms. The Department of Education will ultimately determine how much weight to give the tests versus observation.