Saturday, March 12, 2016

More information contact:
Marla Kilfoyle, Executive Director BATs    
 Melissa Tomlinson, Asst. Executive Director BATs
(516) 987-4405
The Badass Teachers Association -
Thank You to The National Opt Out Movement!

The Badass Teachers Association, a national education activist organization, would like to extend their support, and thanks,  to families who are taking action by refusing to take standardized tests. The act of test refusal is an act that seeks to wrestle public education back from the grips of the 1%. The act of test refusal across the nation is a referendum against the test and punish system supported by a few wealthy foundations that seek to dismantle public education.  Parents across America are telling the Gates Foundation, The Broad Foundation, The Walton Foundation, and The Koch Brothers our children are NOT for sale! 

We have witnessed the most damaging assault on public education in our urban communities. Urban regions have seen mass public school closings and their subsequent sale to charter operators.  We have seen urban districts starved of resources which in turn hurt children.  We have witnessed the voting rights of whole communities negated when their school boards are dismantled and sent into exile.  We see communities denied the right to an elected school board. Parents are saying enough is enough!  

Dr. Denisha Jones, BAT Board of Director member states, "Parents, students and teachers must remember that opting out is a form of civil disobedience. You are not asking for anyone's permission. You are informing the school of the decision you made as a student, as a parent with your child, or as a teacher of conscience, who can no longer sit back and allow the test-and-punish system to destroy public education. By denying the testocracy the data they need to rank and label children as worker bees or managers, you reclaim public education as a system that educates all children to use their full potential to make the world a better place."

The act of refusing to take a test, in which the data will be used to punish children, schools, and teachers, is a pure act of civil disobedience. The act of refusing to test says, return our schools back to our communities in which decisions are made for our children.  Refusing the test says, we will not allow you to privatize our public schools and profit off our children.

"Refusing the Test is the Civil Rights issue of contemporary times. It encourages parents across the spectrum of demographics to exercise their parental authority to advocate on behalf of their children.  It tells our elected lawmakers to strengthen the government's (federal, state, municipal) commitment to fund adequately and resource Public Schools, from sea to shining sea," says Roberta Reid, Co-Director of BATs Social Justice Committee.

With over 500,000 parents who refused testing for their children nationwide, we expect the number to rise this coming test season. Parents and communities understand that testing, and flawed tests, are the vehicle that corporate education reform organizations use to fuel their agenda to destroy public education.  We encourage all teachers with school age children to refuse your children from testing and to share the stories of how high-stakes testing has destroyed the joy of learning.  We applaud the brave parents who are taking this bold step in telling those who seek to privatize public education - We will not bow down to your agenda because it hurts our children and seeks to dismantle OUR public schools!

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