The dismay over the increasing use of standardized testing in our schools is growing! I am the first parent to opt out in my district and it has been scary and isolating at times. I am often cautious about how to open the dialogue with other parents and there have been many times when I’ve gotten the look like I have three heads! I’m sure there are some that think I’m just making trouble. There are many who are just unaware of the facts. And there are even more who might to be too scared to speak up. This I understand.
But I don’t need to start the conversation with “I’m opting out” to realize that parents are concerned about something. There have been many conversations about school that started as mundane and became an outlet where the parent mentions things like how stressed out their kids are, or the pressure their children feel to do well on tests, or how utterly disappointed these children are if they miss one point on a test, or how their young child isn’t allowed to be a kid anymore. Parents DO notice something is wrong with the system. So this is when I mention the opt-out movement and the growing advocacy for change in the educational system. And I’m starting to hear curiosity in their voices. They want to know more!
On Saturday, November 3, 2012 I will be attending a gathering of concerned parents from across New York state who oppose the massive increases in state-required standardized tests in their children’s schools. This will take place in Geneva, NY from 1-4 at the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center at 105 Seneca Street. This event is the first of its kind outside of New York City. Please join us if you can, or check back in a few days when I blog about this event. To read more about this event and the group’s stance, download the press release in PDF.