Today, I want to take this opportunity to affirm my respect and gratitude for all the children and families who have chosen to Opt Out of State Tests this spring and all the teachers, principals, and superintendents who have supported them
You have done so in the face of
**Bribery and intimidation, sometimes from state officials, sometimes from midguided school administrators and personnel
**Well financed media campaigns to encourage students to "Opt-In"
**Efforts to divide the Opt Out Movement along racial lines
**US Department of Education threats to withold funds from schools and districts with high Opt Out numbers
In spite of all these, you have decided, as a matter of conscience, to stand up for the nation's children, and the nation's public schools, through the one gesture that policy makers are forced to take seriously
The historians of the future will honor you for your foresight and courage, but this historian wants to honor you today.
You have stood up for the very best in our nation's traditions.