“Why do we protest one meaningless test and ignore the real harm being done day after day for years now? Opting out changed nothing for the children.” A Patchogue-Medford, NY, mom
And she’s right. Fighting today’s education reform battles with yesterday’s tactics is a feel-good waste of time.
“Nostalgia is a seductive liar.” Remember that.
History is full of one-hit wonders … on the scene one day, gone the next. Feasting off a single success … again and again … will turn one fat and flabby and slow and predictable.
That’s us. The anti-reform folks … with the playbook everyone knows.
The opt-out resistance has become a once-consequential opposition that feels good, but invokes no fear. It hasn’t stopped those hell-bent on destroying childhood in the name of educational reform.
What’s changed inside the classroom for our children? Not much.
Even children who do opt-out of the state tests still suffer the daily “teach-to-the-test” regime.
Classrooms are morphing into digital dungeons. Computer-based assessments happens daily. Interpersonal relationships have been replaced with tablet liaisons. Testing has become the end-all-be-all of education.
We are losing. Badly. The movement is stale … and without punch or power. We should be opting-out of opting-out in its current form …
Why not an Opt-Out/Walk-Out? Right! … an OPT-OUT/WALK-OUT
A new strategy … something bolder … something harder to ignore.
We should empty the schools. And do it during the testing-time.
Make some emphatic thunder … and be as bold and resolute as any other group … because our interest is the everyday lives of our very young children. What’s more noble than that?
I know. I know. I know.
In a flash, there will be dozens of justifications and pretexts and excuses why we should never … not ever! … do such a thing.
Don’t even bother. Those are uncourageous apologies for not having the courage to stand up for what’s right. Or to stand up for your own children.
Wimp pretexts so some don’t have to have a scratchy confrontation with pushy principal … or an officious superintendent. Who, by the way, work for you.
This is hardball … the game is rough. But not nearly as tough as what your sons and daughters have endured under this reform mania. It has to stop.
Empty the schools … it’s time for Opt-Out/Walk-Out. #OptOutWalkout
Denis Ian and Michelle Moore
H/T to Flo Englerth for coining the phrase and hashtag #OptOutWalkOut