Don’t Sit for Testing-Stand with Chicago

chicago

Do you want to know how to tell the difference between a testing “reformer” and a testing resistor?

Easy…. Reformers are paid (and handsomely) to be spokespersons for Pearson, Achieve, PARCC, and the myriad of other corporate interests that have hatched Common Core standards and the new rounds of testing that are required under Race to the Top legislation. They take monies from Gates, Broad, and other billionaires to buy and sell their voices.

Resistors, on the other hand, are not paid at all for their efforts. In fact, if anything, they choose to stand up and speak out against education reform at the risk of personal, professional, and financial peril. There will be no promotions among the ranks for their efforts. Many have lost jobs, or been threatened with job loss. And right now, even more resistors are speaking out in Chicago.

The Wall Street Journal in an article today (States Rethink School Testing) showcased resistance efforts including: The Network for Public Education conference in Austin, Texas, happening as I type.  Additionally, United Opt Out has partnered with other national organizations including FairTest, Parents Across America, and Save Our Schools (SOS) to launch the Testing Resistance and Reform Spring.

But the major kudos right now goes to the teachers in Chicago.

Despite threats from CPS which warned teachers that the state can revoke their certification if they encourage students to boycott the ISAT exams, Chicago teachers are protesting against ISAT. While Michelle Rhee, the CEO’s of Achieve and Pearson receive comfortable, often six figure paychecks, to speak for the “need” for a national curriculum and “accountability” via testing…..teachers…REAL teachers…are risking their livelihood to do what they believe is right for children. And parents are facing punitive responses for refusing to test their children. We arent getting paychecks and promotions. We’re getting threats.

Testing resistance and refusal are acts of civil disobedience. Quite simply, what Chicago teachers and other resistors knows is this:

High stakes testing does not serve the interests of children….Instead, children are being forced to serve the interests of testing companies, and the other tentacles of “reform” that rely on test scores to achieve their goals.

Chicago has created a tipping point. To all those who have asked, “This is too big. It’s too powerful. How can defeat this?” the answer is: “HERE. NOW. US.”

Don’t leave Chicago out on the front lines alone to fight this for us. Chicago is fighting for my children. So I fight for and with them.

Visit http://www.ctunet.com/blog/ctu-supports-second-teacher-boycott-of-low-stakes-isat to see how you can help. Spread the word.

Solidarity, not profits, are what we are working for!!!

Light it up.

Published by educationalchemy

Morna McDermott has been an educator for over twenty years in both k-12 and post secondary classrooms. She received her doctorate in education, with a dissertation focus on arts-based educational research, from The University of Virginia in 2001. Morna's teaching, scholarship, and activism center around the ways in which creativity, art, social justice, and democracy can transform education and empower communities. She is currently a Professor of Education at Towson University.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Sit for Testing-Stand with Chicago

  1. Typo: “High stakes testing does serves the interests of children….children are being forced to serve the interests of testing companies, and the other tentacles of “reform” that rely on test scores to achieve their goals.”

    “does serves”?

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