New York City’s second-highest ranking official is the Public Advocate. Our Public Advocate is Letitia James, known to her constituents as Tish James. She is a lawyer and a fighter for equity.


For consistently supporting parents and public schools, I add her to the honor roll of this blog.


She released the following advisory to parents and the public:





Next week, children across our state will be asked to take the New York State English Language Arts exam and the following week they will be asked to take the New York State Math exam.


There has been a lot of confusion about whether these tests are required. I want to remind you that, as parents, you have the right to opt your child out of this exam with no consequences to you, your child, or your child’s school.


If you do choose to make this decision, you must write a letter to your child’s principal. More information on how to opt out is available here.


The decision whether to opt out or not is a personal one for each family. As your Public Advocate, I want to ensure that parents know their rights. And that we continue working together to build a school system that offers a holistic education, including arts and physical education, and equips our children for success.


If you have questions or concerns, I urge you to contact my office at 212-669-7250 or





Letitia James
New York City Public Advocate