The head of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), Karen Magee, spoke bluntly in favor of a boycott of the state tests.

The chair of the State Board of Regents, Merryl Tisch, blasted back at Magee and accused her of protecting adults, not children. Of course, this is a favorite meme of the “reform” movement, that anyone who cares about teachers is ipso facto acting in opposition to the interests of children. Michelle Rhee called her group “StudentsFirst,” implying that those who teach children never put children first. Hedge fund managers put children first, not the people who teach them every day for about the same amount of money in a year that the typical hedge fund manager makes in a week. No one has ever explained how education will get better if no one wants to teach because of disrespect, poor working conditions and demoralization.

According to the article:

“I would urge parents at this point in time to opt out of testing,” Karen Magee of the New York State United Teachers said in an appearance on upstate public radio’s “The Capitol Pressroom.”

“They’re not valid indicators of student progress,” she added.

State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch shot back that the tests “provide an important source of objective information.”

“It’s time to stop making noise to protect the adults and start speaking up for the students,” Tisch said.

Parents are leading the test boycott and opt out movement, not teachers and not their unions. Parents, we may safely assume, care more about their children than state officials do.

Parents get it. They see their children stressed out by constant testing. Their children bear the burden of knowing that their performance may cause their teacher to be fired. That’s a heavy burden. Parents understand that tests don’t teach children. Teachers teach children. Without teachers, there is no instruction.