"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, January 11, 2013

Support Seattle Teachers in Their Campaign of Conscience

From Monty Neill at FairTest:

*Support Seattle Teachers’ Boycott*

Show your support for the teachers’ boycott of the MAP tests.

The teachers have set up a petition, which you can sign at


Please circulate it widely!

The teachers wrote me:

“We would love for people to write letters to our superintendent and school board showing their support: Email addresses are: superintendent@seattleschools.org <mailto:superintendent@seattleschools.org>, schoolboard@seattleschools.org <mailto:schoolboard@seattleschools.org>.”

Already many groups are passing resolutions in support of the teachers: get your local union, education, parent, student or community group to pass one and send it to the super and the board.

There is also a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SolidarityWithGarfieldHighSchoolTestingBoycott. Please like and share it.

All this is important. This is the first schoolwide boycott since Chicago more than a decade ago. That one was the final part of a push that forced the city to drop its awful tests. Alfie Kohn reported that a boycott in Japan compelled that government to drop a set of national tests. And a boycott in Britain caused the government to overhaul though not end its testing, but the battle did not end there. Since then teachers and parents have won a reduction in testing in England and Wales completely opted out of the tests (Scotland had never adopted them).

So, yes, boycotts can be powerful.

We need such actions to roll back the testing juggernaut. When the Seattle teachers win, that will help us all. I expect those who want test-driven schools will also be pushing hard for the district to stand firm and defeat the teachers.

Our voices will be very important, perhaps not as important as parent and community people in Seattle (where the union has voted support for the boycott), but still an important, perhaps critical piece of the battle.

So send your letter to the super and board, sign the petition, like the Facebook page, and spread the word.

Monty Neill, Ed.D.; Executive Director, FairTest; P.O. Box 300204, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-477-9792; http://www.fairtest.org; Donate to FairTest: https://secure.entango.com/donate/MnrXjT8MQqk

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