Impossible to Ignore

Opt Out CNY

2016OptOutIt’s the middle of August and hard to ignore the impending flip of the calendar to September.  Though most stores are peddling pumpkin flavored everything and some already have winter coats on display, a few of us are still doing our back to school shopping and holding on to flip-flops and beach towels for as long as we can.  While I urge you to squeeze in every last ounce of summer fun with your kids, there is one item on the back to school list that is of utmost importance and can easily be taken care of now: your 2016 refusal letter.

The passage of the Education Labor and Family Assistance Bill of 2015 (S.2006-B / A.3006-B) on April 1, 2015 changed the landscape of test refusal by increasing the stakes attached to tests and spreading the test and punish reform agenda more blatantly throughout the grade levels.  With every teacher now facing…

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Clinton won an endorsement, but Weingarten lost a union.


If you are one of the million plus teachers that were never asked which candidate to endorse for president, you are not alone.

American Federation of Teachers has 1.6 million members and has polled a scant 1150. With this minute poll, they have gone public with a presidential candidate endorsement, over a year before any election.

Their members are furious and demanding a withdrawal of their alleged endorsement of a candidate they were never consulted about.
This is NOT a statistically fair poll.

Gadly on the wall blog states:

“I have nothing against Hillary Clinton.

Heck! I might even vote for her in the coming Presidential race. Maybe…

But the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) endorsement of the former First Lady is strange in many ways.

First, it’s awfully early. The initial Democratic primaries aren’t scheduled for half a year yet – February of 2015 to be exact. And…

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Depriving Young Children of Play Costs Us in the Long Run

Schools of Thought Hudson Valley, NY

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For many parents, schools that offer full day Kindergarten programs is a blessing. Particularly for working parents. Kindergarten provides children with an opportunity to learn at an early age. This is always a good thing, right?

I noticed a great change between the Kindergarten of today and yester years. My oldest son is in college. He attended a full day K program circa approx 1998. It was wonderful experience for him. He came home  daily in a great mood and learned alot. But, I recall that they also played alot as well.

My youngest, 7, started Kindergarten last year he is now in first grade. Of course, instruction is now aligned to Common Core and my youngest son is tested frequently often on the computer. Every 2 – 3 weeks the children have a unit test in fill in bubble format for math as test prep. They take computerized tests…

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The Real Agenda of “So-Called” Education Reform

Creative by Nature

 “What if I told you that the hidden agenda of those controlling public education policy has actually been… to snuff out young people’s natural creativity, curiosity, independence, freedom of thinking and love of learning?”


For a long time now, we’ve been told by our leaders and the media that our nation’s education problems are caused by bad teachers, low expectations, lazy students and/or unclear national standards. They tell us that by setting higher standards, making school more rigorous, testing students frequently and then firing “bad” teachers we will be able to “fix” our schools.

To put it bluntly, this is nothing but a Big Lie. What if I told you that the hidden agenda of those controlling public education policy has actually been to crush innovation, make children more obedient, force teachers to “dull & dumb down” their instruction, and do whatever else is needed in order to snuff out young people’s natural creativity, curiosity, independence, freedom of thinking and love of learning?

How could this be so? It is so…

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Welcome Back to NY, Ms. Mary Ellen Elia

Opt Out CNY

Today it was announced that the NYS Board of Regents unanimously appointed MaryEllen Elia as the next Commissioner of Education of the Empire State.  Currently a resident of the Sunshine State, Ms. Elia is no stranger to New York where she received her college education and taught social studies in the Buffalo area.  Even though the next Commissioner will find the chillier temperatures and snowfall familiar (in fact, they may bring relief following  the heat she felt in Florida) Opt Out CNY feels it’s appropriate to say, “Welcome Back!” and take a moment to help Ms. Elia learn more about the current education climate in New York.

We think the best way to greet our new Commissioner is to simply send her a copy of our 2016 Opt Out letters and encourage you to do the same.WelcomeElia-4

Why?  Until we get to see the new Commissioner at work for the children of New York State, there is…

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