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Resistance! The Achievements of New York State Allies for Public Education

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Author: dianeravitch

NYSAPE led the opt out movement in New York state. Last year, 60,000 students opted out. This year, about 200,000 did. Who knows how much this movement will grow next year? Some predict that the number of opt outs will reach 400,000-500,000. At some point, everyone will ask, “Suppose they gave a test and no one took it?” No data: no ranking, rating, stigmatizing, failing, punishing, closing, firing.

NYSAPE demonstrates that determined parents and educators can have a huge impact, working together, with strong leadership and clear goals.

NYSAPE is a coalition of 50 organizations across the state of New York. Here is a list of some of its major accomplishments:

We [NYSAPE] are the reasonable radicals. They are the radical radicals. While we still need radical changes in New York, look what’s happened with parents, educators, and community members advocating together :
Stopped/Gone (while it is window dressing and the infrastructure needs to change):
inBloom (data mining project funded by Gates and Carnegie; dissolved)
Pearson (lost its contract for New York state testing)
John King (ex-State Commissioner, now working for Arne Duncan)
Ken Wagner (Deputy State Commissioner, soon to be State Commissioner for Rhode Island, strong supporter of VAM)
Other top SED officials
5 Regents (no longer on the State Board of Regents)
ETC (Cuomo’s Education Tax Credits, a giveaway to religious groups and tax credits for the rich—not enacted) 
Research Fellows (a secretive group paid for by private funds to manage state policy, funded by Tisch family [chancellor of the Board of Regents] and other private funders

Held the line on:
Charter schoolsOver 200k opt out
Moving towards a majority on the Regents with new Regents
New BOE members on school boards (go Long Island!)
Schools stopping bad test punishing policies
National attention
Movement in Congress
Data privacy awareness

In the words of a NYSAPE board member:

We need to keep disrupting the test system and deny the data to stop excessive high stakes testing, protect our kids data, restore local control, and start truly helping schools/communities in need.

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