Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Parents should be able to opt out

"The state teachers union may wind up regretting coming out big for parental choice in the recent 'opt-out' wars," Jason Bedrick writes in the New York Post, because the same principle dictates support for school choice.
This year, more than 200,000 Empire State students refused to take the state’s Common Core assessment exam, up from about 60,000 last year. In several districts, more than half the students opted out. 
Perhaps the loudest voice pushing the “opt-out” message has been New York’s largest teachers union. Declaring its support for “a parent’s right to choose,” the New York State United Teachers have actively encouraged parents to opt their children out of the state tests. 
NYSUT’s Web site even includes links to resources to help parents opt out if they “decide it is not in their children’s best interests.” ... 
Parents, too, have legitimate concerns—about over-testing, a narrowing curriculum, and the loss of local control over their children’s education. Frustrated at their diminished influence in the era of Common Core, parents are exercising one of the few tools they have left. 
Of course, if the union really believed its own opt-out rhetoric, they’d realize that parents should be able to opt out of their assigned district schools as well. 

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