Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teacher Uprising in Seattle: Garfield HS Test Boycott on Democracy Now

I don't want to lose that kind of money on a teacher's salary. But I'm willing to do it. Because that's the right thing to do. And it's also educational for my students to see me standing up for things that are right. --- Garfield HS Teacher
Teachers will not back down in face of Supe threat of 10 day suspension without pay. "Teachers will volunteer their time." This is must see as teacher Jesse Hagopian explains what the boycott is all about.

Here is the summary.
I am writing to share an interview we broadcast on Democracy Now! today regarding the unanimous vote to stop administering widely used standardized MAP tests at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington, earlier this month. We are joined by one of these teachers, Jesse Hagopian, alongside a former high school teacher, assistant professor at the University of Washington, and author of "Unequal by Design: High-Stakes Testing and the Standardization of Inequality."

Watch it here: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/29/seattles_teacher_uprising_high_school_faculty

As you may already know, these teachers boycotting are calling these standardized tests wasteful and unfairly used to grade their performance - they are now facing threats of 10-day suspension without pay if they continue their boycott. However, teachers are not going to back down. Mallory Clarke, who teaches reading at Garfield High School, states, "I don't want to be away from my students for that length of time. I don't want to lose that kind of money on a teacher's salary. But I'm willing to do it. Because that's the right thing to do. And it's also educational for my students to see me standing up for things that are right."

Please feel free to share our report today by posting on your website, blog, Twitter and Facebook page. I have provided the link and video embed code below. The complete transcript will be posted soon on our website.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to speak more with you about this issue and/or our organization.

My best,
Susanna Choe
Social Media and Online Outreach Intern
Democracy Now!

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting the link. You mentioned that teachers are upset that these standardized tests are being "unfairly used to grade their performance". Perhaps you are unaware that in Seattle Public Schools, these data contribute to 0% (yes, that is zero percent) of a teacher's evaluation. A teacher's evaluation is based entirely on the principal's evaluation, and student growth data merely serve as additional information, that the principal may choose to ignore entirely, if those data are not consistent with her/his evaluation. I believe that the teachers are acting with what they believe are students' best interests, but it is in no one's best interests when misinformation and outright lies are propagated in order to advance individuals' specific political agendas.


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