The Opt Out Movement Is Parent-Led and Can’t Be Captured or Stopped

Diane Ravitch's blog

I recently read James Scott’s “Two Cheers for Anarchism,” which is a good read. Scott is a professor at Yale who wrote one of my favorite books, “Seeing Like a State.” It explains as well as anything I have ever read how grandiose top-down plans fail  because they ignore the people way down there on the ground, the people who actually know how things work, not how the planners think they ought to work.

In “Two Cheers for Anarchism,” Scott makes an important point about movements. He says that authentic grassroots movements do not have a single leader. They have many leaders, and as one drops away, another takes his place. That struck me as a good definition of today’s opt out movement. There are a few well-known leaders, like Peg Robertson in Colorado and Jeanette Deutermann on Long Island, but the true leadership is everywhere.

The only way that…

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