Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, August 23, 2015

LoHud: Teachers Union Not Behind Opt Out Movement

I keep seeing this allegation that the Opt Out movement was started, nurtured and spread by the teachers union.

The latest incarnation of that was from some woman arguing with Assemblyman Ed Ra on twitter about the wonders of Common Core and Common Core testing (Assemblyman Ra wasn't convinced of the the wonders of either) who claimed the Opt Out movement was "astroturf" created by the unions, including the UFT.

In an editorial today, The Journal-News dispenses with this myth that the union started opt out:

Many advocates and commentators continue to insist that the opt-out movement was surreptitiously created and nurtured by teachers unions, sort of like Frankenstein. This is simply not the case. At least in New York, the movement was built over several years — slowly, in stops and starts — by parent groups using social media. Local teachers unions started to publicly back the opt-out idea only in the final months before April's tests. And NYSUT, the statewide union, did not jump in until the final weeks, after it was clear that Gov. Andrew Cuomo would not allow lawmakers to topple his much-despised teacher-evaluation system.

I would add that the UFT has continued to support the state's testing regime despite NYSUT leadership showing support for the opt out movement right before the state tests were given in April.

This came after UFT President Michael Mulgrew said he'd punch anybody who took his Common Core away last year.

When it comes to Common Core and Common Core testing, the UFT is squarely on board with the program.

So, to reiterate:

The Opt Out movement was parent-created, parent-nurtured and parent-supported - a true grassroots movement.

Assemblyman Ra himself said it:

Next time you see or hear some CCSS and/or Endless Testing regime supporter claiming the Opt Out movement is an astroturf thing started by the teachers unions, dispense with that jive using the LoHud editorial and Assemblyman Ra's statement that parents started opt out and spread it.


  1. I am a teacher and I totally support the opt out movement. However, I do not believe it is ethical for teachers to ENCOURAGE parents to opt out. On the flip side I have no problem whatsoever for teachers to give information to parents who ASK for opt out information. It is the same with cops. They might not support a certain law like drinking in public but they can't encourage people to just brown bag it in dark corners.

    1. At my school the principal asked us NOT to discuss opt out with parents, even if they ask. If a parent brings it up we have to tell them to speak to the principal.
      Talking to parents about opt out is a good way to get rated ineffective.

  2. Teachers unions never support this kind of rank and file initiative. Even if they seem to, all it takes is a head pat to get them back in line. This is because the aflcio type of union does not want popular empowerment--they are a fifth column of the bourgeoisie that seek to neutralize worker discontent and channel it away from effective expression. Nyc teachers need to junk the afl-cia model and regroup with the iww.

  3. This editorial was a great response to Elia's comments. I think that Elia needs to go out on another one of the John King "not listening" tours and make appearances all over the state tuning out criticism of CCC and Pearson testing agenda. Those well rehearsed answers for King did him a lot of good--getting him laughed out of Albany and moved into a well hidden role in DC. Ask your Regent to invite Elia to a meeting in your region that includes real exchanges with real educators and real parents. Let parents explain to her that when NYSED roles out something that does not hurt kids it will be well accepted (and that as long as she clings to the Common Core garbage she is doomed). Call your Regent every week with that message--and suggest that parents also send the same message.