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OpinionLetters

Letter: Opt-out crusade is about concern for kids

Children hold up signs during the first New

Children hold up signs during the first New York rally in "The Great American Opt Out" at Comsewogue High School in Port Jefferson Station on Saturday, March 29, 2014. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

 

I get it. It’s frustrating that with all of its effort and time, the Newsday editorial board’s message of telling parents to “opt in” is still falling on deaf ears [“Opt-out movement is out of hand,” Editorial, March 27].

It’s difficult when you don’t win over public opinion. Don’t fret. It’s not your fault. You gave it the old college and career try. You put your all into stopping this runaway opt-out train.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, in a whisper: Parents aren’t as stupid as you thought.

I know, many of us were just as surprised as you are. Parents began looking at their children’s classwork and homework. They began asking questions about the who, what and why of these new assessments. And do you know what? They didn’t like the answers. They actually began to think, even though I’m just the parent, maybe I can actually have a say in how my child is educated.

It’s an idea that caught on like wildfire.

As for the teachers, well, believe it or not, many of them are public school parents! And crazy as it sounds, they’re actually more concerned about their own children’s well-being than their jobs! As they are forced to teach sub-par test prep material, their first thought is, my own children are sitting through this right now. When they proctor a test, they pity the kids and imagine their own children, three towns over, suffering the same experience.

So don’t beat yourself up, Newsday, that your biased attacks are not hitting the mark — and, gee whiz, it almost seems like it’s giving the opt-out movement more fuel! It’s not you. It’s us. We just can’t seem to get the well-being of our children out of our heads.

Jeanette Deutermann, North Bellmore

Editor’s note: The writer is a parent and founder of the activist group Long Island Opt Out.

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