NEA to Develop Model Opt-Out Legislation
Delegates to the NEA Representative Assembly have approved New Business Item 4, which directs the union to provide, on the NEA website, model legislative language to prevent districts from engaging in punitive actions or negative consequences toward students who elect not to take standardized tests.
This sounds more powerful than it is, because as it turns out, the NEA already has put out model legislation that addresses most of these topics.
Still, the new item is a sign that the opt-out movement continues to inspire many of the union's delegates.
In that light, it's interesting to note that the NEA itself appears to have some apprehensions about the opt-out movement. In an interview I posted earlier, NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia intimated that she thinks a better approach is to eliminate stakes attached to the tests.
And behind the scenes, some within the union recognize that teachers' involvement in the opt-out movement can raise legal questions. The NEA's general counsel, Alice O'Brien, warned its board of directors recently that teachers who support opt-out generally are probably OK but those who actively encourage parents to opt-out could face disciplinary action.