Tim Slekar, dean of education at Edgewood College in Wisconsin, recognizes that the Néw York opt out has national implications.

He links to a dismissive editorial in the Néw York Daily News that characterizes opt out as union-led, which is ridiculous. Parents don’t work for the union and don’t take orders from the union.

He writes:

“It’s fills me with such warmth to watch the media try with all its might to prop up an invalid, unreliable, and politically driven system to divert tax dollars to private companies and charter schools.

“Opt out was never and will never be an anti-testing movement. It is the ultimate reality check and newest form of civil disobedience.

“People are now opting out in large numbers because they finally understand that the results are scientifically invalid.

“Simply, the tests don’t tell us how children our doing and don’t hold anybody accountable. 25 years of testing and not a single budge in the achievement gap. 25 years of accountability and 1 trillion dollars redirected towards ACCOUNTABILITY and all we have to show for it is soaring profits for test making companies, test prep companies and data companies.

“Sorry but its over. This was never about helping our neediest children. It was always about destroying the public system, blaming teachers and then selling off our schools to the highest bidders.”

Let me add a personal note about Tim. Five years ago, he urged me to endorse opting out, and I declined. I did not want to urge anyone to break the law. Over time, I have come to realize that Tim was right. Opting out is the only way that parents have to tell legislators to stop demonizing our public schools and our teachers. Doing so requires civil disobedience. We can take action. We will be heard. Our numbers will grow until politicians stop using test scores to harm children and privatize public schools.