Some have characterized the opt out movement as a ‘White middle class phenomenon’. There are many reasons why on the surface one might think this is the case, but let’s put on our critical thinking hats here for a moment and ask:
Where do we get that impression from?
Let’s think about (generally speaking):
-who has more access to media outlets
-who people are actually talking with in their daily lives about these issues
If one is relying on mainstream media and one’s own peer circle that is pretty much comprised of White and middle class people, then of course it would seem those are the only ones talking about opting out.
However, I have spoken to black, Latino, Asian parents and low income parents about opting out of high stakes testing and the first thing they say is ‘I can do that?’ Then after a little bit of conversation, they’ve usually asked ‘So how can I opt my kid out?’
This movement cuts across all lines that often divide us. We are one city with 1.1 million children in a public school system that has the responsibility of fairly and appropriately educating all of it’s students. We stand together in solidarity to stand up for our children, teachers and our right to a high quality public education.
This article in the NYT gives a great overview of the resistance movement in NYC.