The National Opt Out Movement
Our organization began in protest of high-stakes standardized testing, specifically, since this is the primary metric through which the false narrative of "failing" schools is propagated.
We believe the ultimate goal of so-called "education reform" is to privatize our system of public education. Education "reformers," or those who push market-driven and largely for-profit policies, are using "big data" to punish teachers, close schools, and sort students. This undermines a free system of public education and in many cases destroys communities, especially those in low-income or urban areas.
If the corporate entities that are seeking to control public education are using the reckless pursuit of data to make rash decisions, then we at UOO say, "Well, come and get it." Opting out of corporate reforms, namely standardized tests, may not ultimately be the best strategy, but it is the only one advocates of public schools have left. Argumentation and evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, are not working. It's time to draw a line in the sand.
We are educators. We are not wealthy. We do not have donors, grants, foundations, or other sources of funding shared by prominent think tanks and policy organizations that dominate the discussion on public schools. Our interests are primarily with children, educators, parents, and the communities in which we live.
Therefore, we are raising the funds necessary to continue this fight effectively. We have for the last two years leveraged social media and other online platforms quite well. But there are small costs for which we could use your support: communications, ensuring our servers can accommodate increased traffic, and other small incidentals. And, we need to consider funds for legal services, not for us, but for those who are taking this fight to their communities and may need our help.