I believe columnist Randi F. Marshall missed the point and will be depriving her daughter of a much greater opportunity [“Why our daughter isn’t opting out,” Opinion, March 31].

As they grow up, our children will have many opportunities to test themselves in sports, school competitions, teacher-made tests, etc. But what about their education as citizens?

When the institutions we trust to provide leadership and guidance in education no longer do that, but give us an ill-thought-out system that hurts our children, civil disobedience allows us to send a strong message. That message has been heard, but only partially. If we were to follow Marshall’s advice, Albany would not take us seriously, and there would be no impetus for further change.

I recently retired after 33 years as a school psychologist. I can tell you with certainty that children flourish when there is a strong emotional connection with their teachers. The pressures put on teachers through the implementation of Common Core fracture that connection and ultimately do an injustice to our children.

When we teach our children about the injustices inflicted upon the American colonists by the King of England, we talk about the redress of grievances. That is what the opt-out movement is about, and there is no greater lesson than participation in such an act of civil disobedience.

Dov Neidish, Commack

 

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Randi F. Marshall’s column was misguided and demonstrated her fundamental misunderstanding of the opt-out movement.

As parents, my husband and I both oppose the new standardized testing implemented by the state to be used eventually to evaluate teacher performance. However, we didn’t just simply make the decision last year for our then-sixth-grade son. Instead, we felt it would be better to engage him in dialogue about the test.

Using this issue as a teachable moment in advocacy and righting a wrong was far more important to us than having him sit for hours to take a test — simply going along with a flawed system. It was his decision. We said that if he decided he wasn’t going to take the test, he had to write a letter to his state senator explaining why.

Armed with the facts, our son concluded that these tests would not be a good measure of his abilities or of his teacher’s performance, nor would they improve his education. That the test was difficult was not one of his reasons.

Not once has our son said that opting out on this test should justify not trying or not taking any other test.

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Andrew Zwerin, Rockville Centre