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How Do You Fix a Broken System? Smash It.

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Despite years of advocacy, court mandates and promises from politicians, the new NYS budget plan once again locks in educational inequality. And while politicians refuse to cough up $1.6 billion to begin fully funding our schools, the state spends over $1.5 billion a year on its high stakes standardized testing program.

For years, Albany has told parents that standardized tests will help close the “achievement gap” in our schools – but year after year of testing, while refusing to fully fund our schools, has not closed this gap, which is an “opportunity gap” and NOT an “achievement gap.”

The truth is, you won’t heal the inequities that plague our schools by administering something that is toxic, and these high stakes tests are toxic, for our kids, and for our schools. You want to close the gap? Start by funding our schools.

While Albany keeps expecting our schools to do more with less, while the tests lay the foundation for closing and privatizing more neighborhood public schools, we keep calling, writing, traveling to Albany, meeting with legislators, rallying and petitioning. We keep working within a system that won’t respond to our needs.

What do we do with a system that won’t respond?

We break it. Albany has ignored us for years. We succeed when we make ourselves impossible to ignore.  Enough is enough. We are joining the hundreds of thousands of parents and educators that have had deep concerns on the corrosive effects of these tests.

Math exams administration dates are May 1–2, with make-up exams on May 3, and May 6–8. You have a right to opt out with no consequence to your child. The right to refuse the state tests in encoded in ESSA, the federal law that governs education policy, which explicitly recognizes that right.

As we know from history, the power of a boycott is huge. If Albany won’t comply with a court ruling to fully fund our schools, why should we give Albany what they want? Join the hundreds of thousands of New York State families who making their voices heard in a most powerful way, and consider joining boycott the state tests this week. A sample opt out letter is here and questions can be sent to [email protected].

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