I recently read James Scott’s “Two Cheers for Anarchism,” which is a good read. Scott is a professor at Yale who wrote one of my favorite books, “Seeing Like a State.” It explains as well as anything I have ever read how grandiose top-down plans fail  because they ignore the people way down there on the ground, the people who actually know how things work, not how the planners think they ought to work.

In “Two Cheers for Anarchism,” Scott makes an important point about movements. He says that authentic grassroots movements do not have a single leader. They have many leaders, and as one drops away, another takes his place. That struck me as a good definition of today’s opt out movement. There are a few well-known leaders, like Peg Robertson in Colorado and Jeanette Deutermann on Long Island, but the true leadership is everywhere.

The only way that critics can attack the opt out parents is to claim that they have been duped by the teachers’ unions. Really? The parents of 220,000 children in New York decided to refuse the tests so they could follow the diktat of the unions? How insulting to parents! The one thing that every parent has in common is that they care about their children. They care about them more than the politicians do. They care about them more than the editorial boards of the tabloids do.

Who leads the opt out movement? Everyone and no one. Its leaders are everywhere. And they know exactly what they are doing.

Here is a statement by parents in the Hudson Valley of New York.

Its title: Parents Assert Their Right To Refuse Harmful Testing Practices To Protect Children from State Sanctioned Harm

These parents can’t be bought, and they can’t be bullied. And they vote.