Hursh’s Book on New York State’s Opt-Out Movement Receives a 2020 AESA Critics’ Choice Book Award

Hursh's winning bookThe new book Opting Out: The Story of the Parents’ Grassroots Movement to Achieve Whole-Child Public Schools, from Warner School of Education’s David Hursh, is a 2020 American Educational Studies Association (AESA) Critics’ Choice Award winner. The five-chapter volume was among 12 publications to receive this honor in September.
Hursh, a professor in teaching and curriculum at the Warner School, collaborated with doctoral student Zhe Chen ‘18W (MS), and alumna Sarah McGinnis ‘18W (MS), all of the Warner School, and two parent leaders—Jeanette Deutermann and Lisa Rudley—to write Opting Out (Myers Education Press, 2020). The authors set out to inspire parents to become educational activists beyond standardized testing.
The book tells the story of two parents becoming education activists in the opt-out movement of standardized tests and how others—students, parents, teachers—have joined them in resisting high-stakes testing in New York State. The story of parents resisting not only high-stakes testing but also privatization and other corporate reforms parallels the rise of teachers nationwide going on strike to demand increases in school funding and teacher salaries. The success of both the opt-out movement and teacher strikes reflect the rise of grassroots organizing using social media to influence policymakers at local, state, and national levels.
Each year, a committee of AESA members selects a number of titles it regards as outstanding books that may be of interest to those in educational studies. These books are designated as AESA Critics’ Choice Award winners and are displayed prominently at the annual meeting. This award serves to recognize and increase awareness of recent scholarship deemed to be outstanding in its field and of potential interest to members of the Association.
Read more about Hursh’s book, Opting Out: The Story of the Parents’ Grassroots Movement to Achieve Whole-Child Public Schools. View the 2020 Critics’ Choice Award winners.

About the Warner School of Education
Founded in 1958, the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education offers graduate programs in teacher preparation, K-12 school leadership, higher education, education policy, counseling, human development, online teaching and learning, program evaluation, applied behavior analysis, and health professions education. The Warner School also offers PhD programs and an accelerated EdD option that allows eligible students to earn a doctorate in education in as few as three years part time while holding a professional job in the same field. The Warner School is recognized both regionally and nationally for its tradition of preparing practitioners and researchers to become leaders and agents of change in schools, universities, and community agencies; generating and disseminating research; and actively participating in education reform. 
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Tags: award, book, common core tests, David Hursh, high-stakes testing, standardized testing