reformers more than 'the opt-out movement as a protest'? The answer is 'the
opt-out movement as a way of life'.
If your child’s education hurts because someone is hitting it with a hammer, then the easy peaceful solution is to get out of the way of the hammer.
In April of 2015, parents of over 220,000 students got out of the way of the hammer by not participating in NYS standardized tests. Saying “no” to NYS standardized tests is not simply a protest. It is a solution in itself to protect our children right now, today, for a better way of life. Parents have decided to avoid the hammer. This has afforded them a way to remain in the public school system while at the same time protecting their children. By opting-out of NYS tests parents protect their child from being used as a tool for evaluating employees in the work marketplace. By opting-out of NYS tests parents protect their child from some of the excessive test prep that other students are subjected to. By opting-out of NYS tests parents protect their child from believing that one test defines them. By opting-out of NYS tests parents protect their child from believing that their purpose for being in school is to do well on one test so that their school is not closed or teacher fired. By opting-out of NYS tests parents protect their child from believing that ELA and Math are more important than all other subjects.
Their is much more that must be done by legislators to protect children, but parents will always take their own steps to protect their own children. This is why they opt-out. It is a way of life in as much as it is a protest. Legislators can decide to do more to help parents protect their children by creating legislation that:
1.) Completely disconnects student tests from teacher and school evaluations
2.) Removes the Common Core Standards and replaces them with the previous NYS Standards
3.) Reduces state testing requirements to only once in grade 4 and once in grade 8
4.) Makes it illegal to collect student data without written permission from the parent
But, until legislators step-up and do their duty to protect children, parents will provide solutions, on their own, for the well-being of their own children. Parent will ALWAYS provide their own solutions to protect their children. And, parents will ALWAYS teach other parents how to protect their children because they are passionate about the precious relationship between a parent and a child.
Saying “no” to NYS standardized testing is not negative. It is a positive, peaceful solution, that leads by example, to protect our children. Is a parent protecting their own child negative? Of course not. In fact, it is a parental duty and responsibility to protect one’s child. The negativity comes from those who insist on continuing to swing the hammer at those who simply want to keep their children out of harm’s way.
No responsible, loving parent is going to allow someone else to decide that it is ok to impose harmful practices on one's child. Legislators directly decide what goes onto paper and becomes law, but they are not the ones who ultimately decide. It is those who most influence legislators that ultimately decide. Up until 3 years ago, legislators had been most influenced by corporate education reformers. But, for very personal and non-political reasons, parents have said that they are going to get out of the way of this hammer to protect their own children. So, now parents are one of the ultimate decision makers through their refusal of NYS standardized tests. The only way to prevent parents from deciding what is best for their children is to take away their rights and oppress them. Otherwise, parents can be the ones who will ultimately decide.
Parents in NYS have made history with their opt-out movement as a protest. But once parents show Governor Cuomo, President Obama, and corporate education reformers that the opt-out movement is a permanent way of life, a solution, and not simply a protest, change will happen. For many parents opting-out was a way of life from day one. But right now, the Governor, the President and corporate education reformers are still getting parents to 'dance' with them at the ring of a bell. As parents focus more on showcasing the principles of opting-out as a way of life and focus less on 'dancing' when the bell is rung, real change will happen. WHAT THE GOVERNMENT FEARS MOST IS OPT-OUT AS A WAY OF LIFE. CHANGE WILL COME FASTER AND FASTER AS PARENTS GAIN THE WISDOM TO SHOWCASE OPT-OUT AS THE NEW WAY OF LIFE. It is a time to lead by showcasing principles and NOT dancing when the bell is rung. Resist the urge to dance. Live life according to your principles.