The Néw York parents’ opt out movement is indeed widespread and historic. The Buffalo News reports the action in western NY.

Parents were not acting at the direction of the teachers’ union. They were fed up with Néw York’s insane obsession with standardized testing:

“In the Lake Shore School District, 58 percent of kids opted out.

In North Tonawanda, inside sources said about 56 percent of students didn’t take the test.

At Lackawanna, just shy of 50 percent. Springville-Griffith had 42 percent, with three quarters of fifth-graders at one elementary school opting out.

In Kenmore-Tonawanda, where the School Board had seriously considered opting the entire district out, 37 percent refused.

Last year, by contrast, only about 5½ percent of Western New York students refused to take the tests, according to one survey.

Parents cited a wide variety of reasons for opting out Tuesday, including stress.

“Both my kids – especially the oldest, the one who is a bad test-taker – she is a nervous wreck when it comes time for tests,” said Mandy Ortwein, mother of a Ken-Ton seventh-grader who opted out. “The teachers try to help them by telling them they need to eat a good breakfast and get a good night’s sleep, but all of that makes my child even more anxious.”

School leaders across New York for weeks have been anticipating a large number of opt-outs by students, said Bob Lowry, deputy director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents.

“But I think the numbers exceeded expectations in many districts,” Lowry said after the first day of English Language Arts tests.

The mass boycott followed backlash to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to put greater emphasis on the results of the state tests when determining how teachers are evaluated. Karen E. Magee, president of the New York State United Teachers, urged parents to opt out, and the union website promoted a letter for parents to download and fill out if they wanted their children to refuse the tests. At the same time, parents and teachers, particularly in Western New York and Long Island, took to Facebook and Twitter to voice their growing anxieties over the tests.”