Home > Uncategorized > Support for Garfield Teachers Snowballing

Support for Garfield Teachers Snowballing

January 28, 2013

The support for the Garfield (Seattle WA) teachers boycott of  the mandated test is snowballing… and may soon become a national movement. Last week E-classroom News reported that “Since Garfield teachers announced their boycott nearly two weeks ago, they have been hailed as heroes by those concerned about the overuse and misuse of assessment.”  The article noted that the Garfield teachers received “…a statement of support signed by more than 60 educators and researchers, including well-known authors Jonathan Kozol, Diane Ravitch, and Noam Chomsky” and recent media reports indicate that both the NEA and UFT expressed support for the teachers. Today, Diane Ravitch posted a press release from the Chicago teachers union indicating their support for the Garfield teachers and their decision to launch a “…campaign in support of local and nationwide efforts to eliminate standardized non-state mandated tests—also known as “high-stakes testing”—from public schools.”  Ravitch notes that the Chicago Teachers Union research indicated that:

  • Since No Child Left Behind the testing industry has experienced double‐digit growth. In 2008 K‐12 testing was a $2.6 billion industry.

  • Errors in standardized tests resulted in thousands of students flunking, not passing college entrance exams, and incorrect state rankings.

  • CPS candidates in the National Board Certification program reported spending in some cases ten full school days per year (48 hours) on standardized test preparation. (CTU, NBCT Candidates internal survey)

  • Three out of five community college students need at least one remedial course because they are ill prepared for college. Less than 25% of these students earn a degree within eight years.

  • Excessive reliance on standardized tests results and test prepping makes for a poor transition from K‐12 to college.

At some juncture this over-reliance on testing will become a national story, perhaps replacing the bogus stories about the failure of American schools. In the meantime, I hope that school leaders will join this chorus… because if we don’t it will appear that this is a union vs. management issue and not a student vs. privatization issue.

%d bloggers like this: