Resistance to over-testing and high stakes testing continues to mount across the country. Here are some inspiring examples:
Karen Hendren and Nikki Jones are two first-grade teachers from Tulsa, Oklahoma. These brave teachers have written an open letter to parents explaining why they are refusing to administer the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test to their students. Here is an excerpt from the letter that illustrates one child’s experience:
Student 1: This is one of the sweetest students a teacher could ask for. This student is gentle, calm, and collected. This student is learning English, but does not yet have any academic English. The student sat in front of the computer screen and tried his very best. We watched his eyes well up with tears. We watched the student nervously pull at his hair. Eventually, the student scratched red marks down his face in distress over the test. He is the oldest of the siblings. He can cook, clean, and take care of a baby better than some adults. The student knows all of his alphabet and the letter sounds in English now. This student loves writing books and can dance like no other. He is now comfortable enough to get up in front of the class and perform a talent or recite a poem. This student scored in the 1% range.
Read more about their story in Valerie Strauss’ recent column Your children deserve better than this, first-grade teachers tell parents and read their full letter here.
In other news, our friends at FairTest shared these recent actions:
- Letter to Parents of New York Third Graders — Model Opt-Out Campaign Resources
- “We Don’t Need No High-Stakes Testing” Ohio Video
- New York Supers Call State’s Teacher Rating System a “Travesty of Significant Proportion”
- Illinois Families Push Back Against State Super’s Claim That Parents Can’t Opt Out
- Philadelphia City Council to Hold Hearing on Costs of High-Stakes Testing Defending the Early Years was honored to lend our support by submitting our testimony to the Philadelphia City Council. Here is more about the testimony presented.
And there is the just released More Than a Score edited by teacher and activist Jessie Hagopian:
More Than a Score is a collection of essays, poems, speeches, and interviews—accounts of personal courage and trenchant insights—from frontline fighters who are defying the corporate education reformers, often at great personal and professional risk, and fueling a national movement to reclaim and transform public education.
Along with the voices of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and grassroots education activists, the book features renowned education researchers and advocates, including Diane Ravitch, Alfie Kohn, Wayne Au, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Karen Lewis, Carol Burris, and Mark Naison. (from the website)
DEY’s Nancy Carlsson-Paige will be joining Hagopian and some fellow contributors at the upcoming event on December 4th (see details below).
Thursday, December 4, 2014 – 7:00pm
First Parish Church at Harvard Square
Join us for an exciting evening of discussion with . . .
Monty Neill, FairTest Executive Director
Alfie Kohn, Author/Activist
Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Early Childhood Education Expert
Barbara Madeloni, Massachusetts Teachers Association President
and editor Jesse Hagopian, a leader of the successful Seattle Teacher Test Boycott
Sponsored by Citizens for Public Schools