This effort has become so strong that the NYC Department of Education has issued guidelines to parents in how to deal with these situations. One of the most momentous aspects of this document is provision of an "alternate educational activity (e.g. reading) during testing times."
Truly, this has made many people in New York want to learn more about the opt-out movement. An organization known as Change the Stakes has begun to share resources in order to take action in this regard. They are offering a variety of literature to plead their case and take action against the environment of standardized testing in the city and state.
What's interesting to me coming from Pennsylvania is how my home state is leaning towards using tests so frequently and for such important decisions. The Keystone Exams, similar to the NY Regents Exams, are graduation requirements and are likely to be in place for the near future. As a proctor of the exams myself I can tell you they are more difficult and rigorous than ever before and take way too much time out of the school calendar for testing.
Michelle Rhee, former Chancellor of Washington, DC Public Schools and head of StudentsFirst wrote an editorial piece in the Washington Post advocating for the use of standardized test. Amongst the arguments she used was that without these tests we would not get an accurate picture of how a child is doing in school. She wrote, "It’s not inconceivable for a student to be receiving all A’s and B’s on her report card but still be stuck far behind her peers." This aggressive attitude towards testing is held up by the lack of trust in teachers across the country, If we don't trust our classroom leaders to do their job, why would we put them in that position in the first place?
If we are doing our jobs correctly, we should be able to really understand and explain how a child is doing in his or her studies, without the need of "standardized tests." I would hope people would ask us first before believing a score on a bubble sheet.