About United Opt Out
United Opt Out National, Inc. is registered as a nonprofit organization incorporated in the state of Florida.
Information about our Admins
Members of this site are parents, educators, students and social activists who are dedicated to the elimination of high stakes testing in public education. We use this site to collaborate, exchange ideas, support one another, share information and initiate collective local and national actions to end the reign of fear and terror promoted by the high stakes testing agenda. Meet UOO’s administrators.
Rosemarie Jensen is a former teacher and currently a parent activist. She received her M. Ed. from the University of Florida and taught K-1 for ten years in both Alachua and Broward Counties. In addition, she trained teachers in Alachua and surrounding counties in Math Their Way and later worked as a K-2 literacy trainer for teachers in Broward County. In the past 15 years she has been an active participant in her local schools and has worked to end high stakes testing and corporate reforms. She has been involved in community, state and national efforts to support public education and teachers. She has opted her son out of FCAT for the past three years in Florida.
Morna McDermott has been working in, with, and around public schools for over twenty years. Currently she is an Associate Professor at Towson University, in Maryland where she teaches various theory and methods courses in the College of Education. Her scholarship and research interests focus on democracy, social justice, and arts-informed inquiry in K-post secondary educational settings, and working with beginning and experienced educators. She explores how the arts serve as a form of literacy that challenges traditional classroom learning and dominant narratives. Recent art work and installations have emphasized the value of art as a “public pedagogy” in creating grass roots social-political-educational change. Dr. McDermott currently serves as the Arts Based Educational Research section editor for the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. In addition to publishing in educational journals and books, she writes ongoing columns for www.examiner.com. She currently lives in Baltimore with her husband and two children. Contact Morna at email@example.com or 410-294-3223.
Peggy Robertson has taught kindergarten, first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth grade, beginning her career in Missouri and continuing in Kansas, for a total of ten years. She was hired by Richard C. Owen Publishers in 2001 to serve as a Learning Network Coordinator and spent the next three years training teacher leaders and administrators in educational theory and practice in the state of Colorado, as well as around the country during the summer months. In 2004 she was hired as the Literacy Coordinator by the Adams 50 School District in Westminster, Colorado. While working in Adams 50 she mentored teachers and administrators and supported them in the writing and implementation of school development plans. She earned her master’s degree in English as a Second Language at Southeast Missouri State University. She currently is an instructional coach at an elementary school and devotes the rest of her time to her work at United Opt Out National. Her blog can be found at www.pegwithpen.com . Contact Peggy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-810-5593.
Ruth Rodriguez holds a BA in Social Work and did graduate studies in Bilingual Education at Boston University. She was a Community Fellow in the Urban Studies Department at MIT where she researched school violence. She has spent most of her career life in the field of education, as a kindergarten teacher, school/family and community coordinator, and supporter of parent/teacher collaboration. Ruth is a member of the national Save Our Schools Steering Committee and sits on the Advisory Board of Citizens for Public Schools (CPS) in Boston, MA. Ruth served on MA Governor Deval Patrick’s Readiness Project on MCAS and Assessment, an initiative that brought together a diverse group of educators, to advise the governor on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MA high stakes exam for promotion and graduation requirement).
Timothy D. Slekar is an Associate Professor of teacher education and Head of the Division of Education, Human Development, and Family Studies at Penn State Altoona. Dr. Slekar began his career in education as a 2nd grade teacher in Williamsburg, VA. He also taught 5th grade in York, PA. Dr. Slekar attended the University of Maryland at College Park where he earned his Ph. D. in social studies education. During his studies Dr. Slekar worked with 7th and 8th grade teachers in the city of Baltimore. Dr. Slekar has published research in some of the top educational research journals (Teacher Education Quarterly, Theory and Research in Social Education, Journal of Thought). Dr. Slekar also co-hosts a local talk radio show in central PA (Tuesdays at 11:00 am eastern on WRTA 1240 am). The show is devoted to teachers and teaching in public schools. Dr Slekar and Dr. Shaun Johnson also host At The Chalk Face (BlogTalkRadio) Progressive Education Talk.
Contact Tim at email@example.com or 412-735-9720.
Ceresta Smith, an American University alumna, is a twenty-three-year veteran educator who has taught grades six through twelve reading and language arts, as well as beginning and advanced television production. Contact Ceresta at firstname.lastname@example.org or 786-303-4785. She earned her National Board Certification in Adult/Young Adult English/language arts in 2002 and now serves as a teacher leader and mentor. In September of 2008, she moved from a school deemed “high performing” to serve as a teacher leader and literacy coach in a school deemed “low performing.” While there, she became a 2009 – 2010 recipient of a Jordan Fundamental Grant that facilitated the implementation of Text Titans, a literacy building initiative designed by her and funded by Brand Jordan. A private foundation created by basketball great Michael Jordan, Brand Jordan honors teachers who motivate and inspire students toward achieving excellence. As a committed educator and activist, Ms. Smith founded the Concerned Teacher Coalition in 2009 to address the inequities in Miami-Dade County’s predominantly African-American public schools. One of the original organizers of Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action, she continues to champion for equity and quality pedagogy in America’s public schools.
Denisha Jones is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Howard University. She is a former early childhood teacher and preschool director. She received her PhD from Indiana University in 2013. She has been active in the fight to stop the corporate takeover of public education since 2011. She is an admin for the Badass Teachers Association, and has recently joined the administration team of United Opt Out and has worked with Save Our Schools to expose the dangers of privatizing public education. She blogs about education for emPower Magazine, @ the Chalk Face, and the Badass Teachers Association. Her research interests include the de-professionalization of teaching, service-learning, providing meaningful professional development for early childhood teachers, and promoting diversity in education.
Michael Peña is currently in his seventh year of teaching in Washington State’s public school system. A former Biology teacher, he now focuses on helping students pass the alternative assessment to the end of course test. He has been a member of both the End of Course and Collection of Evidence writing teams but now works to stop the excessive punishment that is standardized testing on students in general, and our most susceptible students in particular. He is an active member of the Washington Educators Association and the NEA BATs caucus. A founding member of the Washington Badass Teachers group, he uses social media as his main form of resisting education reform, fighting for educational equity, and in the eradication of all standardized tests. He can be found on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram (penas_place). His email is email@example.com.