Thursday, November 19, 2015


By:  Jessica McNair, Opt Out CNY

The onslaught is coming, parents, and we must unite and remain steadfast.
From now until the tests in April, you will hear statements urging you to
opt back in from every organization you had hoped would be an ally.  We
know that Commissioner Elia would give anything to convince you to opt back
in.  Our Governor would like nothing more than for all of us to stop
bringing down his poll numbers.  I predict NYSUT, the state teachers union,
will urge you to take the tests even though its membership voted to support
test refusal.  Of course, since we heard so many beg last year, we know
that there will be dozens of local and BOCES Superintendents encouraging
you to take the tests for reasons that are less than good.  The NYS School
Boards Association, the NYS PTA, and the NYS Council of School
Superintendents are likely to beg you to "opt in" as well.

So tonight I ask you to please take a moment to reflect upon why it is you
support the opt out movement.

Is it because your child is so much more than a test score?   Maybe it's
because there is no more science class, or recess been cut because there
just "isn't time" for play.  Is your school about to be closed or forced
into receivership because test scores deem it as a failure?  Are you tired
of the horrendous EngageNY materials?  Do the developmentally inappropriate
Common Core Learning Standards steal the curiosity and joy out of
learning?  Perhaps you support your child's teacher(s) and school and you
know that they deserve respect and support in all that they do for our kids
as opposed to being forced to work in a test & punish culture.  Do you
demand more than the drill & kill teach to the test environment?  Are you
sick of copious amounts of work being sent home because there just isn't
enough time to cram everything in before the test?  Maybe you are concerned
about your child's privacy and data mining.  Do you feel the tests are
inappropriate, too long and absolutely useless to you as a parent?

Whatever your reason, SHARE WHY YOU OPT OUT in the comments below and
commit to standing resolute in your choice to refuse the 2016 tests because
HERE'S WHAT WE WON'T FORGET: NOT ONE of those people/organizations that
will beg you to opt back in has adequately addressed the concerns you
have.  Not one of them has stood shoulder to shoulder with you and taken
the time to advocate for a better learning experience for ALL of our
children.  Not one has looked you in the eye and listened to your concerns
with sincerity.  Last year they ignored you and hoped you'd go away-and you
responded with record opt out numbers.  This year they will turn their
backs on you and your children... AND YOU WILL RESPOND WITH RECORD BREAKING

You made history with your 2015 opt out.  The entire nation continues to
look to the Empire State in awe of your commitment to children and public
schools.  That commitment is about to be tested and I'm asking you to
remain STEADFAST.  #GreatOptOutNY

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