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Letter: Opt-out isn’t a lesson in quitting

Scores for Long Island students in grades three

Scores for Long Island students in grades three through eight who took the Common Core state exams in the spring of 2015 rose modestly this year compared to last, according to the New York State Education Department. Look up scores by district here. But that only tells part of the story. Long Island also had more than 46 percent of eligible students refuse to take state tests -- far higher than the state average -- according to Newsday's reporting. Look up opt-out rates for local districts here Photo Credit: NEWSDAY / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

A reader views the opt-out movement as teaching our children to quit when they don’t like something [“NY school tests: con and pro,” Letters, April 10]. This misses the point.

The writer stated, “Life is a series of obstacles and challenges.”

What do we teach our children when they encounter an obstacle? We teach them to think through the problem and find a way to conquer it. That sometimes means that change is required. We teach them not to be afraid of change, because change is often a good thing. Yes, it may be daunting, but that makes the reward so much more enjoyable.

Did some parents get loud at a public hearing? Yes, and there will always be those who go over the top, thinking that louder is better. We teach our children from examples of bad behavior, as well as good.

Adults are supposed to be role models. Standing up for what you believe in and fighting to change a broken system in a civil manner are models of the finest caliber. Do we want our children to be lemmings, always following leaders regardless of where they are headed?

I have grown children. I want children to be leaders, not followers. I want them to make their voices heard.

Robert Broder

Stony Brook