Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Opt Out Revolt-- Democracy and Education

The Opt Out Revolt

Democracy and Education

  1. ↩Pre-K–12 Financing Overview,” Atlas, New America Foundation, June 29, 2015,
  2. ↩Diane Ravitch,The Death and Life of the Great American School System (New York: Basic Books, 2010), 199–200;Reign of Error (New York: Vintage, 2014), 19-31; Mercedes K. Schneider,A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in American Public Education (Charlotte, NC: Information Age, 2014): 369–85; John Bellamy Foster, “Education and the Structural Crisis of Capital: The U.S. Case,”Monthly Review 63, no. 3 (July-August 2011): 17–27.
  3. ↩Mercedes K. Schneider,The Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools? (New York: Teachers’ College Press, 2015), 128–39.
  4. ↩Kristin Rizga, “Sorry, I’m Not Taking This Test,”Mother Jones, August 2015,
  5. ↩Rizga, “Sorry, I’m Not Taking This Test“; Eduardo Porter, “In Public Education, Edge Still Goes to Rich,”New York Times, November 5, 2013.
  6. ↩Rizga, “Sorry, I’m Not Taking This Test“; Melissa Lazarin, “Testing Overload in America’s Schools,” Center for American Progress, October 2014,
  7. ↩Racial and Ethnic Achievement Gaps,” Stanford Educational Opportunity Monitoring Project,; Rizga, “Sorry, I’m Not Taking This Test,”; Sean F. Reardon, “The Widening Income Achievement Gap,”Educational Leadership 70, no. 8 (2013): 10–16,; Ravitch,Rein of Error, 55–62.
  8. ↩Southern Education Foundation, “A New Majority: Low Income Students Now a Majority in the Nation’s Schools,” January 2015,; National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, Table 205.20, Enrollment and Percentage Distribution of Students Enrolled in Private Elementary and Secondary Schools,; Council for American Private Education, “Facts and Studies,”; U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, “Projection of Education Statistics for 2021,” January 2013, 3,
  9. ↩See Erica R. Meiners and Therese Quinn, “Militarism and Education Normal,”Monthly Review 63, no. 3 (July-August 2011): 77–86.
  10. ↩John Dewey,Democracy and Education (New York: Free Press, 1916); W.E.B. Du Bois, The Education of Black People(New York: Monthly Review Press, 1973); Grace Lee Boggs, “Education: The Great Obsession,”Monthly Review 22, no. 4 (September 1970): 18–39.
  11. ↩See Foster, “Education and the Structural Crisis of Capital,” 9–17.
  12. ↩Elizabeth A. Harris, “20% of New York State Students Opted Out of Standardized Tests This Year,”New York Times, August 12, 2015; Valerie Strauss, “Why the Movement to Opt Out of Common Core Tests Is a Big Deal,” Answer Sheet blog,Washington Post, May 3, 2015; David Casalaspi, “Reflections on the Opt-Out Movement’s Future,” Green and Write blog, Michigan State University, January 19, 2016,; Jesse Hagopian, “Seattle’s Garfield High School Opt Out Movement Scores Huge Victory Over ‘Smarter Balanced’ Common Core Testing,” I Am an Educator blog, April 7, 2015, The Oregon Department of Education, responsible for instituting the state’s new law ensuring the right of parents to opt their children out of standardized tests, has already undermined the clear intent of the law by inserting on the opt-out form the following misleading statement in larger, boldface letters, designed to frighten the parents from opting out their kids: “I understand that by signing this form I may lose valuable information about how well my child is progressing in English Language Arts and Math. In addition, opting out may impact my school districts efforts to equitably distribute resources and support student learning” (Oregon Department of Education, 2015–2016 Opt-Out Form).
  13. ↩Hankerson, quoted in Jesse Hagopian, “‘Opt out now’: The Seattle NAACP Revives the Legacy W.E.B Du Bois, Demands an End to Common Core Testing,” I Am an Educator blog, April 10, 2015.
  14. ↩“BK” stands for “Building Knowledge.” BK Nation is a relatively new national organization based in New York City:
  15. ↩Mark Naison, “BK Nation Forum Defuses Stereotypes About Opt Out as a ‘White Movement’,” With a Brooklyn Accent blog, January 7, 2016,
  16. ↩Emma Brown, “How Schools Would Be Judged Under ‘Every Student Succeeds,’ the New No Child Left Behind,”Washington Post, November 30, 2015.