Here at United Opt Out National we focus on opting out of corporate education reform. One way to “opt out” is to refuse the state test. By refusing to take the state test we deny them the data they need to profit and punish. This is no ordinary test, this is a high stakes test which is not used as a diagnostic tool to support real learning – rather, it hampers and destroys learning by creating a narrow curriculum and consequently a daily test prep environment void of fine arts, P.E., developmentally appropriate play, recess, libraries, necessary resources and more. They feed our children tests and deny them real learning and real teaching.
This past week has been an especially harsh week for some parents who are attempting to protect their children from high stakes testing. You see, as the stakes increase, educators will bully parents in order to get the data – principals and teachers know that without the data they may lose their jobs or their schools may be shut down – they work in an environment filled with fear. Corporate education reformers know that without the data they cannot make decisions to punish schools and privatize our public education system. No data – no profit. Real learning and authentic teacher assessment no longer exist. Children feel the pressure – they know that their test scores create consequences for everyone – this is unacceptable and needs to be called what it is – child labor.
This week a parent attempted to opt her child out of the state test and was threatened with Child Protective Services. In addition her child’s IEP was not implemented appropriately during test time. We are trying to get this story out. We will not be ignored. We will not stop. We need your help. We need you to blast this story to everyone – all mainstream media outlets, Democracy Now, Alternet, Truthdig, Truthout, MSNBC, PBS – anyone and everyone – local and national. This particular opt out occurred in the state of New York. Post this story everywhere – post it relentlessly. This story will be heard. Thank you.