I was shocked not long ago to get an email bulletin from the PTA at my daughter’s elementary school, PS 321 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, attempting to rally parents against annual state testing of our kids. Now, the head of the state teachers union — a group that should be supporting rather than undermining education standards — is leading a crusade in support of this so-called opt-out movement.
Whether it’s at a high-performing school like the one my daughter attends or at a struggling school, the push to stop kids from taking tests that measure their annual progress threatens to increase the already troubling disparities in our public education system.
Parents who want to hold the school system accountable — and especially my fellow parents of children of color — should raise their voices in opposition to the heads-in-the-sand brigades.
You might remember a similar effort last spring, when there was a movement to encourage parents — mainly in wealthy suburban areas — to keep their children home during testing periods.
Every anxiety any parent had ever had about public education was wrapped up into what became a very passionate public debate about standardized testing and new, higher standards. The state Education Department doesn’t officially track these numbers, but in New York City, 1,925 students were reportedly kept home in protest last spring — up from 356 the previous year.
Read more at New York Daily News.