Fact Checking Newsday – With Newsday

ndNewsday likes to claim that the teachers’ union drove the opt-out movement, but of course those of us living in the actual world of reality know that’s not at all what happened.

This has bugged me for a while and started me wondering if maybe there is some way to prove that opt-out started out as a purely parent led movement. If only news stories from the past were somehow still available…

If you do a quick search of the Newsday archive for the terms Opt-Out and test, you’ll find the first mentions of the movement in 2013. In that search you’ll find stories like:

LI Families React to New Testing Program
“Jeanette Deutermann (center), surrounded by Elizabeth Sendrowitz, Kristen Lavelle, Joanne Trupo, and their children, stand in the back yard of her home in Bellmore. The mothers are trying to organize parents in boycotting the tough new state tests coming up in mid-April”

LI students, parents uneasy over more rigorous tests
Under the subhead “Some parents protest”:  “It feels like a big win for parents because it shows that our school district is listening to what the parents want,” said Jeanette Deutermann, a North Bellmore mother who has led a standardized testing “opt-out” movement.

State test score drop could strengthen parents’ opt-out efforts
“Parents can see opting out as a legitimate option to use in our fight to take back control for our children,” said Jeanette Deutermann, 40, a parent of two children in North Bellmore, whose Long Island Opt Out page on Facebook has nearly 9,000 members. “The test results help our cause by forcing districts to publicly acknowledge the flaws in the state’s testing policy, instead of defending them.”

Long Island students’ state test scores plunge
“This year’s testing marks the second time in four years that the state has upped the academic ante — sparking protests from local school administrators and teachers, and a test boycott this spring, with hundreds of parents having their children “opt out” of taking the exams.”  Notice the construction of that sentence – the protests from administrators and teachers are clearly shown as distinct from the parents’ test boycott.

What you will NOT find in any of the coverage from 2013 is any mention, or even insinuation, of teacher involvement in the opt-out movement. That was a fabrication they (and others) created later on when it became expedient to put the blame on teachers and make our unions look bad.

At least you can say this for the Newsday editorial board – they’re smart enough to know not to waste their time reading Newsday.


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