Friday, August 21, 2015

WTG New York Mills!

Interesting article in the Syracuse paper today: 5 things parents did in one CNY district to get so many to opt out of state tests
In New York Mills, a small school district in Oneida County, 77 percent of students opted out of the state's Common Core math test and 74 percent opted out of the English examination. The district had the highest percentage of students to opt out of the exams in the six-county Central New York region, according to a analysis of state Education Department data.
The article interviewed local parent and organizer Kate Despins who described five things parents did to get students to opt out.
5. Used the small community nature of New York Mills to their advantage. They talked to each other and to their children, so they all understood the issues.

"We are a small community and we talk to each other,'' Despins said. "If someone sneezes in New York Mills, we all know it. We see the same people at sporting events, at the grocery store and everywhere else, and we talk. We stick together, and we inform each other."

Despins said the high opt-out rate is because parents there understand the issues.
Small school districts are often looked down upon because they do not have the population to support all the offerings found in larger districts.  This story, however, exemplifies an advantage that a small school district offers over a larger one:  greater parental control.  It is easier for parents to organize themselves for action in a smaller district because they all know each other.

Who knows better what children need? Albany/Washington bureaucrats or their parents?

I'll opt for the parents any day!

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