Who is the opt-out movement? As it turns out, the people promoting opting out of state assessments are exactly who you’d expect.
A recent survey conducted by Assistant Professor at Teacher’s College at Columbia University Oren Pizmony-Levy and Teachers College Research Associate Nancy Green Saraisky found that an overwhelming majority of opt-out activists are white and affluent — and nearly half are teachers.
Is anyone actually shocked?
Since the spring, the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) has been making a push to frame the opt-out movement as racially and socio-economically diverse, but this survey pretty much confirms the general perception: Opt-out is largely a movement for the privileged.
Of the over 1,600 opt-out activists who participated in the survey, a whopping 92 percent were white, 97 percent held college degrees and the median household income was $125,000 a year. In other words, according to the survey, the vast majority of activists fighting against school accountability measures, are those least affected by education inequity.
Even more revealing was why activists protested testing. The survey found that 82 percent of respondents participated in the opt-out movement because they opposed the linking of student performance data to teacher evaluations. Considering that about 45 percent were educators, it would seem the union is curiously more involved in this “grassroots” movement then they let on.
For more information on the survey, you can read the full report below:
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