How Opt Out Could Remain Legitimate, But Won't
The last national conference held by United Opt Out in February featured Green presidential candidate, Jill Stein, long-time radical educator, Bill Ayers, and radical intellectual, Chris Hedges. The line-up for the conference scheduled for next month in Houston is quite different.
The October UOO conference at the Hilton will be be co-sponsored by an AFT affiliate, the Houston Federation of Teachers, and the headliners will contain no radicals, free or otherwise. Featured will be education economist and KIPP sympathizer, Samuel Abrams, along with Diane Ravitch's lieutenant at NPE, Julian Heilig. In short, UOO has become the latest casualty of cooptation by the corporate unions, and just in time, it seems, for AFT/NEA/NPE to, perhaps, claim a victory of sorts for the opt out movement that they now control.
Even though the annual testing requirement for public schools remains a part of the ESSA federal statute going forward, the ominous plan for future testing accountability would impose test data gathering, storage, and sharing every day, rather than just once a year. Assessment, under the new scheme that will receive federal millions under ESSA, will be as ubitiquous as getting on and off the bus. So even as Randi and Lily are already leading testing victory laps for a false win not yet won, such a "victory" would come at an expense that no parent, student, or teacher can afford to pay.
You see, the new personalized testing paradigm on the horizon, if implemented, will not only change the face of school as we know it, but it will jeopardize the physical and mental health of children, as well as abridge their rights to privacy and the Schools Matter: How Opt Out Could Remain Legitimate, But Won't: